Grandview Nature Preserve

  • Highlights: Chesapeake Bay views, marsh, birdwatching
  • Distance: 4.0 miles out and back (options for a shorter or longer hike)
  • Elevation Change 15 feet
  • Trail Surface: sand and gravel
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Trailhead Parking: State Park Drive, Hampton VA
  • Website: AllTrails and City of Hampton
  • Beer Pairings: Bull Island Brewing Co.: Queen’s Way IPA & Delta Dagger Brown Ale

The Hike:

We were looking for an easy hike so our daughter Emily could test out her new baby carrier pack. Our friend Diane told us about Grandview Preserve in Hampton VA with its great waterfront views. The hike was great and Emily and Josh liked the new pack.

Street parking is available at the trailhead on State Park Drive. Dogs are allowed during the months when migratory birds are not nesting in the preserve. Check the preserve website for more information.

A .4 mile gravel path leads from the parking area to the oceanfront. The path passes through wetlands and interpretive signs describe the history and ecology of this area. A variety of woodland and water birds can be found here. We spotted a blue heron in the marsh. The gravel path leads to an expansive sandy beach. The preserve extends all the way to Factory Point for a 5 mile out and back hike.

Hiking on the sand can be a bit challenging. Low tides make for much easier hiking. Check the Hampton tide charts if you want to plan your hike around low tide.

The rocky ruins of an old lighthouse serve as a resting spot for seabirds. The preserve is home to the largest colony of least terns on the east coast. Many other species of shorebirds call the preserve home. The far end of the preserve, Factory Point, is 2.5 miles from the trailhead. Josh was getting hungry so we turned back at 2 miles.

Hike Photos:

Click on an image below for an enlarged view.

Beer Pairing: 

Bull Island Brewing Co. is located just 15 minutes from the trailhead. Bull Island is Hampton’s oldest waterfront brewery with 15 craft beer taps, wine, cider, and seltzer. They have indoor and outdoor seating, an extensive food menu, and live music on weekends. Dogs are welcome outside.

Kathy enjoyed a cold pint of Queen’s Way (6.8% ABV • 58 IBU), a west coast style IPA brewed with Eldorado, Chinook, and Centennial hops. Kathy tends to prefer east coast hazy IPAs while Pete favors west coast IPAs. We both agreed Queen’s Way is an outstanding IPA. Pete really liked Delta Dagger (5.4% ABV),  a hoppy brown ale brewed with Columbus, Tomahawk Zeus, and Cascade hops.

Hike and drink responsibly. Never drink and drive. Stay safe, be responsible, and leave no trace.