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Hoffler Creek - Portsmouth, VA

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Length Difficulty Streams Views Solitude Camping
2.1 mls N/A
Hiking Time:
Elev. Gain:

1.5 hours plus a half hour for lunch
13 ft
NOTE: Dogs Are Not Allowed On The Hiking Trails
NOTE: Closed on Mondays

Hoffler Creek
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Park at the Hoffler Creek Preserve: 36.89280, -76.39578

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.
  • Mile 0.3 – Turn right on white blazed Homestead Trail
  • Mile 0.5 – Intersection of out and back trail to Willet Blind, bear right towards Willet Blind
  • Mile 0.6Willet Blind
  • Mile 0.8 – Retrace steps and bypass 1st intersection until you again reach the Lake Ballard Trail, bear right.
  • Mile 0.9 – Reach Memorial Blind on right just off the trail.
  • Mile 1.0 – Oyster Pier, Oyster Reef, Kayak Dock, and Lab on the right. Kayaks can be rented during warmer months. Continue on Lake Ballard Trail.
  • Mile 1.3 Turn right onto red blazed Riparian Trail and in 0.1 miles take short spur trail to White Bird Blind. Retrace steps to intesection and bear right back onto the Riparian Trail.
  • Mile 1.7 – Turn right onto blue blazed Blue Bird Trail for out and back to Saltmarsh Deck.
  • Mile 1.8Saltmarsh Deck, retrace your steps and stay on the Blue Bird Trail until you reach the Lake Ballard Trail.
  • Mile 2.0 – Lake Ballard Trail, bear right
  • Mile 2.1 – Turn right towards the Headquarters Building, where hike ends.
Late January
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