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Dismal Swamp Canal Trail

  • 1246 Dismal Swamp Canal Trail, Chesapeake, VA 23322
  • Phone: (757) 382-6411


The Dismal Swamp Canal Trail, is a former section of Virginia State Route 17, now a multiuse trail open to bicycling, walking, running/hiking, horseback riding, and boating. The north trail head is located at 1246 Dismal Swamp Canal Trail, close to the intersection of George Washington Highway South/Business US 17 and Dominion Boulevard South/US 17 in Chesapeake, VA. The trail runs south 8.6 miles, adjacent to the Dismal Swamp Canal. The Dismal Swamp Canal Trail is designated a Virginia Treasure with the area well known for its historical significance.

The Canal is the site of the popular event "Paddle for the Border," which takes place in the spring. The event attracts paddlers from all over, ages eight to eighty, fitness-buffs to historians, to families looking for a pleasant day's adventure.

Park Amenties:

  • 8.6 Mile Paved Multiuse Trail that connects to Deep Creek Park
  • Boat, Canoe, or Kayak Ramp
  • 2 Restroom Buildings
  • Picnic Areas
  • Horse Trails

The Great Dismal Swamp Refuge is home to a myriad species of wildlife. Parts of the Refuge were surveyed by George Washington's company, and the Swamp is nationally recognized as a stop on the "Underground Railroad". The GDS Refuge is also a resting spot for thousands of migratory birds in the fall and spring. The trail is linear and flat, perfect for people of all ages to bike or walk and horse owners to ride. The Ballahack Road Boat Ramp provides easy access to launch a boat, canoe or kayak.


Native Wildlife

When spending time along the Dismal Swamp Canal Trail, outdoor enthusiasts will be able to see many different types of native wildlife. Next time you are planning an outing, print out a copy of these handy wildlife checklists, to see how many different types of animals you spot.



General Amenities
  • Handicap Accessible:
  • Motorcoach Parking:
Sports & Rec Amenities
  • Parking:
    • Adequate
  • Walking/Running Trail: