This was our first venture into the Tidewater area to do a hike. We were invited by the Hoffler Creek Programs Director to come and take a look at the good work they are doing and hike their trails. We went on a snowy Saturday which made it cool to see the multitiude of animal tracks on the trails. Their mission is “To conserve the last parcel of wilderness in the Hoffler Creek watershed for environmental education, research and recreation consistent with good stewardship.”
If you live anywhere close to Portsmouth, this is a worthwhile preserve to visit. Make sure you visit the Oyster Pier and Reef where they have reclaimed (using oyster shells) 200' of the creek bank that was badly eroding. If you love water, you'll love this hike!
There are multiple ways Hoffler Creek can be hiked with most trails intersecting the main Lake Ballard Trail. Be sure to stop at the headquarters and pick up a Bird Checklist, over 200 species of Birds have been observed at least once a year in the Preserve. We started our hike just behind the Pavilion on the far side of parking lot.
Mile 0.0 – Start hike on the yellow blazed Kid's Trail
Mile 0.2 – Turn right on Lake Ballard Trail. Directly in front of you will be the Lake Deck for a view of Lake Ballard, a reclaimed VDOT borrow pit.