Route: First Landing State Park- Long Creek & Cape Henry Loop

Submitted by taradower on Sat, 11/05/2022 - 06:18pm
Virginia, US
8.5 mi
Vertical Gain
302 ft

First Landing State Park is an oasis for trail runners, hikers, outdoorsy folks, or really anyone trying to escape the hustle and bustle of Virginia Beach. First Landing is the most visited state park in Virginia and contains over 19 miles of trails inside of its 2,888-acres. Additionally it contains one of the most endangered habitat types in the world being the maritime forest. When you visit expect to see lush forest, large native Bald Cypress trees, Broad Bay, beautiful trails, and large dunes on the beach side. Long Creek Trail/Cape Henry Trail Loop is a perfect 8.5 miles and utilizes both technical, hilly terrain challenging the runner to keep a consistent pace. As well as long stretches of flat trail where you can really turn on the gas. 

Start by touching the wooded gate at the beginning of Long Creek Trailhead on the north most end of First Landing right off Cypress Swamp Drive. Run the nearly 4 miles of Long Creek to where you meet 64th street the first time. Run towards the park exit on the road. Be careful as you cross where the small 4 car parking lot is on the right and join the Cape Henry Trail. Run across 64th street again and continue on Cape Henry Trail past the large parking lot on your right. You will be on CHT for 4.5 miles in all. Stop on Cape Henry Trail when you see the Long Creek Trailhead gate to your left across Cypress Swamp Drive where the FKT began. Be careful crossing the road one last time. Stop the time when the wooden gate has been tagged at Long Creek Trailhead. 

It was a surprise to see this was the first potential FKT in this beautiful park.This is an attempt to establish FKT routes in this beautiful state park and stir up healthy competition among the many trail runners that inhabit First Landing. 

GPS Track


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Profile picture for user zachjmedeiros

Going to give this an attempt today. Thank you to taradower for submitting this. The HR area may not have mountains or massive expanses of public land ripe for FKT’s like other parts of the country, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t still hidden gems like First Landing where devoted trail runners can still have some healthy competition. 

I live in Colorado and was in Norfolk for some vaca. Saw this route and gave it a go. I absolutely loved it! Beautiful park with excellent scenery: marshes, waterway with boats, nice forest, and two snakes on the trail! One of the snakes, I think a water moccasin, crossed the trail in front of me and booked quickly down hill to get back to the water. Exhilarating! I also enjoyed reading about the history of this area. I wasn't aware the Jamestown crew landed here back in the day.  

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Profile picture for user anthony.arthur

I’m gonna give this route a try today.  First FKT attempt.  I’ve trained on this route before and can handle that speed on the road for 8 miles(it’s a hard effort but I can do it)….but the question is..can I do it on a sandy trail? We’ll see!