When you visit Colonial Williamsburg and the area surrounding it, you owe it to yourself to take a walk or a bicycle ride through history.
The area has many bicycle and walking trails, several of which run through and around Colonial Williamsburg, while others are outside the area, but still close.
Check with your Williamsburg bed and breakfast — many have maps and guides of the nearby trails. If not, stop by one of the many local bike shops for a pamphlet titled Biking Through America’s Historic Triangle. This publication lays out a 20-mile bicycle — or walking — route for you that will see meandering through and between Jamestown, Yorktown and Williamsburg.
And you absolutely must amble or cycle through the city’s Historic District. It really is a Williamsburg “must-do.”
Want to walk longer but still take in some history? Pick up a map of the Virginia Capital Trail. Once complete, the trail will connect Jamestown, Williamsburg and Richmond along the corridor of Scenic Route 5. The section of the trail in and around Williamsburg is complete — take a walk or a ride along and you’ll see several historic sites, including the Greensprings Plantation Historic Site.
Looking to get out of town? Try Waller Mill Park, just five miles west of Williamsburg. Its six miles of scenic trails will get your heart pumping. It’s a loop that has many switch backs while it circles Waller Mill Ponds eastern side.
If you’re really fit, why not seek out the Marl Ravine Trail? This trail is 11 miles west of Williamsburg on Interstate 64 (take the Croaker exit). You’ll see some wonderful scenery — southern sugar maple trees, chinquapin oak and even ginseng. Plus, if you’re really lucky, you’ll see native orchids tucked in among the black walnut tree. This trail is perfect for the experienced mountain biker — or mountain hiker.
“But,” you say, “I have my family with me. And the steepest trail we’ve ever tried was the driveway up to my mother-in-law’s house — all 30 feet of it. Got any easy trails for us?”
Yes, we do! Check out First Landing State Park in Virginia Beach. Cape Henry Trail is here — a predominately flat 12-mile, hard-packed dirt/sand trail that’s great for families and the average cyclist. You’ll ride through a semitropical forest — look for the Spanish moss and the chicken turtle! The trail is a popular one. More than one million people visit First Landing State Park because it’s the first place the English settlers landed in the early 1600 before heading on to Jamestown. The park — and its trails — can get crowded.
Many of the Williamsburg Bed and Breakfasts have garages to store your bicycles in. Inquire with each individual Inn for storage capacity.