Waller Mill Park Lookout Tower Loop

  • Highlights: Lake views, bird watching
  • Distance: 2.9 mile loop
  • Elevation change: 185 feet
  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Trailhead Parking: 901 Airport Road, Williamsburg VA, $2.00 parking fee
  • Website: Williamsburg Parks and Recreation
  • Beer Pairings: Alewerks Brewing Company—Protocol Porter & Fractionate IPA

The Hike:

Waller Mill Park in Williamsburg is centrally located near Interstate 64 and Colonial Williamsburg. The main attraction of this city park is a 360-acre lake which is ideal of canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. The park also has over 6 miles of hiking trails. The Lookout Tower Trail has some nice lake views with a gentle climb over a series of ridges. 

All the trails begin near the Visitor Center. Pick up a trail map at the kiosk and cross the parking lot to the Lookout Tower trailhead. The trail is well well marked and well maintained. Follow the path through the forest and at .1 miles, reach the paved Waller Mill Bike Path. Turn left here and follow the paved path as it passes beside Airport Road. The lake is on both sides of the trail. A conduit allows boaters to pass under the road to reach the other side of the lake. 

At .2 miles bear left following the sign for the Lookout Tower Trail. The vehicle noise from Airport Road quickly diminishes as the trail climbs uphill to reach the observation tower. The views from the tower are partially blocked by trees; however, better lake views are ahead.

Return to the trail and follow the path. A trail junction on the right is the return trail for this hike. Stay left as the trail undulates through the pine and hardwood forest. On your left will be some nice lake views through the trees. At 1.4 miles reach the tip of a peninsula as the trail passes along the water’s edge. 

The trail moves away from the lake and passes through the forest and completes the loop at 2.4 miles. Turn left and pass the observation tower and then turn right on the paved bike path. Cross the lake and turn right to return to the parking area and your vehicle. 

Hike Photos:

Click on an image below for an enlarged view.

Beer Pairing: 

Two great breweries are located less than 3 miles from the trailhead: Brass Cannon Brewing and Alewerks. We visited Brass Cannon first and enjoyed Muzzle Flash Amber and Smoothbore Stout. They didn’t have a food truck that day so we continued down the road to Alewerks for a late lunch. Alewerks has two Williamsburg locations. The main location and brewery on Ewell Road has 16 taps, indoor and outdoor seating, and a variety of food trucks on weekends. We had some great BBQ during our visit.

Pete really likes Protocol Porter (5.6 ABV) and he couldn’t resist an opportunity to try it on draft. Protocol is a robust porter with notes of roasted coffee and toasted cocoa. It’s one of the best porters out there. Kathy tried a flight and her favorite was Fractionate IPA (7% APV) brewed with distilled compounds Citra, Amarillo, and Simcoe hops. It was nicely hopped with fruit notes from the hops.

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