Newport News Park Loop

  • Highlights: Lee Hall Reservoir, Civil War earthworks, wildlife
  • Distance: 4.7 mile loop
  • Elevation change: 125 feet
  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Trailhead Parking: Discovery Center Parking Area, 13560 Jefferson Avenue, Newport News VA
  • Website: Newport News Park
  • Beer Pairings: St. George Brewery—Porter & Golden Ale

The Hike:

Newport News Park is one of the largest municipal parks east of the Mississippi. The park’s 7,500 acres were home to numerous engagements during the American Revolution and the Civil War. The park is home to some of the best preserved Civil War earthworks in Virginia. Today, the park offers camping, boating, fishing, biking, and hiking. Visit the park’s Discovery Center to learn more about the park and to pick up a trail map. Hiking trails in the park are well marked and well maintained.

From the Discovery Center, cross Clubhouse Drive and begin the hike by crossing Dam #1 Bridge.  At the end of the bridge, bear left on the Twin Forts loop. This short (.7 mile) loop passes through the site of an important battle during the 1862 Peninsula Campaign. Earthworks and trenches are still visible and several interpretive signs tell the story of the battle. The Twin Forts Loop trail returns to the starting point near Dam #1 Bridge. 

Turn left on the White Oak Trail. The lakeshore and marsh on the right are a great place for birdwatching. At the junction bear left on the Wynn’s Mill Loop which passes by several viewing points of the marsh and swamp to the left. Note the warning signs about snakes—stay on the trail. The trail connects with the White Oak Trail at the Swamp Bridge which provides more opportunities to see wildlife and birds. 

Continue to follow the White Oak Trail as the reservoir appears again on the right. Several view points provide excellent views of the reservoir. Follow the trail and the signs back to the Discovery center and your vehicle.

Hike Photos:

Click on an image below for an enlarged view.

Beer Pairing:

St. George’s Brewery in nearby Hampton has some great English-style beers. We like beer from Britain and had enjoyed many of their beers. A visit to the brewery was long overdue. St. George’s Golden Ale has won numerous beer competitions and rightly so. It is based on an old British recipe but is brewed with American hops. The result is a slightly sweet, malty flavor with a citrusy finish and a thick, creamy head. It reminds us of Boddington’s and Speckled Hen, two of our favorite beers from England.

St. George Porter weaves a complex tapestry of flavors in a black, ruby colored ale. A rich malt base results in caramel and chocolate tones, classically balanced with English bittering and aromatic hops. This is a great Porter.

Hike and drink responsibly. Never drink and drive. Stay safe and be responsible.