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Hiker Comments for the Dutch Gap Hike - 1 to 19 of 19   
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By: Lea Ann Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 5, 2019
Pleasant place to get out for the walk if you're in the area or as an addition to a visit to the Henricus Historical Park, a replica of the follow-up English settlement to Jamestown ($9 to go through the settlement). Trail map and restrooms available at the start of the trail by the historical site visitor center. The trail was gravel most of the way which isn't my favorite and the water views are not as scenic as one would think from the map due to heavy vegetation, unless you go down every spur trail which would make it more than the 4.5 mile direct route we had time for. Since we didn't go through the museum, had to look on Wikipedia to learn that the original oxbow channel of the James River that surrounds the area was bypassed originally by Union troops in the Civil War due to the Confederates having a major outpost defending the river there. The bypass canal (known as Dutch Gap) was later completed and eventually it turned into the main channel. The exact location of Henricus is not known due to these topographical changes.

By: Steve Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, October 18, 2018
My wife and I took our 9 year old boxer and 2 year old pitbull. It was a gorgeous day and the trails were wonderful. Clearly marked and maintained. This will become a weekly excursion for us.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 3, 2018
This was an excellent hike. Most weekends, I sponsor a hike for my company team. This particular weekend, I was asked to come up with something that co-workers could bring family and friends.

I do apologize that I hadn't realized the park doesn't open as early as I had expected. Plan your trip accordingly. It was a good adventure out with about 20 folks. The kids loved it. We came across deer, snakes, a variety of birds and a few stops dropped some food into the water to watch turtles and fish make an appearance.

While the beginning of the hike is a bit industrial, give it 20 minutes and you won't notice the power plant.

By: Diana Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, March 7, 2017
Ok hike. Nice and flat if you have kids. Unfortunately, there is a lot of metal and concrete debris among the undergrowth. The industrial stuff definitely took away from the beauty of the place. Lots of birds for birdwatchers.

By: Jason Viper Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 4, 2017
So I've never actually "hiked" this hike, but have been back there plenty of times via boat. I think it's got some pretty scenery, lots of old rusted barges sticking out of the water, and you can glimpse a ton of wildlife - including bald eagles. If you are so inclined, bring a fishing pole as there is excellent fishing there, including MONSTER catfish. If they are running the sprayers at the plant, the water can get into the 70's in the dead of winter!

If you are parking at the boat ramp parking area, beware of vandals and buzzards (as they will eat any plastic on your car - trim, wipers, etc...)

By: Rick & Martha Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, December 27, 2015
This was a very pretty hike around the water, on a flat-ish, wide trail. We weren't on the trail but five minutes when a group of 6 deer came charging out of the underbrush not 20 yards from us, and hurtled along the fencing for 100 yards. Then, two minutes later, another group of 3 deer did likewise, and much closer to us. The trail is very well marked. The only time we were a tad confused is when we arrived at the Observation Point, where the picnic tables and canoes are. It took us a minute to figure out how to get back on the trail to continue going around the lake. Fortunately, we had this web site available to refer to. We'll definitely return in the summer to check out the birds.

By: Jessica Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 31, 2014
This hike is great for young children, There was a portion where cotton had grown as was blowing around everywhere. There is even some large sand dunes to climb and a small beach area which overlooks the river and factory!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 3, 2012
Overall, very nice hike, particularly since this was only my 7 y/o son's second hike. Another obvious benefit was the location, which is very accessible. A huge plus was the obvious markers every 1/10th mile throughout the hike. We explored every optional observation point, so the hike actually turned out to be 4.9 miles. Course was very level with nice views of Tidal Lagoon and some wetlands. Very nice family-friendly hike...

By: bunnys Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 29, 2012
Great hike.  I've done it a few times before.  A little distracting looking up every now and then to see the coal fired power plant smokestack but usually it's not in view.  I like a quiet hike and I need to remember for next time to come in the dead and cold of winter when there are no powerboats trolling around the lake all afternoon.  Not a lot of traffic on this path.  Very pretty.

By: Chris and Leslie Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, February 24, 2012
The weather was too beautiful to stay indoors. We were looking for something to show my guest from Atlanta and be outdoors. It was a very nice hike and good exercise. We saw Herons and numerous water fowl. I'll go back in the spring when the vegetation is green and share it with more people.

By: micheal Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, February 24, 2012
I hiked this area before it was a hiking trail, it was really beautiful day to take a short hike, the wildlife ie.. waterfowl was unlimited very few hikers there , for a friday morning, i will return there again to visit..

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, April 19, 2011
I am lucky enough to live only minutes from Dutch Gap, and as a result this is one of my favorite places to take my dogs. The trail is easy enough for just about anyone, and for the most part it is handicapped accessable. However, my husband uses a wheelchair and the terrain is too rough for him to comfortably cover the entire loop. (It has loose gravel and roots in some areas). Nonetheless, the majority of the trail is smooth and flat, making it an easy walk or run.

By: trustablerolin Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 10, 2011
I really enjoyed this place. I did a full loop, with the observation points too. I took a lot of pictures. Only one "problem" is there that huge factory, and the fence system:( without that I will give a 5 star. Anyway it was a great hiking experience. thanks

By: Bent Pole Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, February 20, 2011
I had low expectations of this one, but was pleasantly surprised.  Unique ecosystem.  Nice waterviews.  Interesting details, with sunken barge, overlooks, docks, etc.  Tons of birds.  Agree with other reviewer that it is a nice stroller trail for my 1-year-old, who loved the change of scenery.  Lots of other hikers.

By: Sam and Thunder Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 9, 2010
Just like your description, this is a great hike if you live near Richmond.  We enjoyed watching all the birds on this clear cold day.  My wife really liked looking over the old sunken barges.  This is a great trail to get some miles in with a waterview the whole time.  I think this is one of the better times of year to take advantage of this loop, good views and free of bugs.

(HU Note - Keep your eye out for a new Richmond 6.3 mile hike to be posted soon, "James River Loop".)

By: Shaun Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 7, 2009
My wife and I have a 1 year old, so finding a trail that we can push the stroller on is important to us. This one fit the bill nicely, very easy to navigate with the stroller, just make sure it's one with big wheels (we brought the 3-wheeled jogging stroller). Overall a very pleasant and peaceful hike, the trail is surrounded by water on both sides, saw a few people out there fishing and boating. Would have been nicer without the power plant right next door, but that's OK. About a 4 mile hike all the way around the trail.

By: Jeff Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 19, 2009
If you like water and like to be alone for a while, this is a great hike. A little bit far from where I am living (about 30 miles). Otherwise I will hike there more often.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 13, 2009

I walked this route with my wife on a warm and humid Central Virginia day.  Our hike ended up 6.5 miles with all the spurs and a trip past Henricus to the bluffs overlooking Dutch Gap.  We saw lots of wildlife, including a nesting baby osprey at a camping area towards the far end of the loop, an egret (I think) searching for a late afternoon snack, and some tiny frogs that I thought at first were crickets.

The Dogleg spur apparently has been cleaned up since the article was written and is a dogleg once more, aklthough there were several goodsized trees down across the lower part of the dogleg.  We surprised Mama and Baby Deer and they showed us their white tails as they bounded off into the underbrush.

I have been living in the city for too long and I forgot that if you go walking in the swampy woods you HAVE to wear insect repellant.  I picked about two dozen ticks off my legs and found one the next day that dug in between my toes.  They didn't like my wife for some reason.  There were a few biting flies as well, but not that many mosquitoes for some reason.  Maybe the tiny frogs have been eating the mosquitoes.

We were completely alone 99% of the time.  The only people we saw were some boy scouts at the camping area and a few people fishing within a quarter mile of the parking lot.

I now have a great big can of Off in my trunk, and I look forward to another nice long walk in the near future.

By: Austen Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, December 18, 2008
This hike is a great leg stretcher and is a outing that won't take up your entire day. We hiked the loop in about 2 hours, although we did not stop to eat or hike any of the spur trails. The sights and sounds of the Dominion Power Plant gave the hike a bit of an unnatural feel, but it a still a worthwhile trip for metro Richmonders.  

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