Belle Isle State Park: Trek Off the Beaten Path

Are you looking to escape the hustle and bustle of your day-to-day? Plan a weekend getaway to the Hope and Glory Inn and spend a few hours at nearby Belle Isle State Park to reconnect with the great outdoors. Whether you opt for a butterfly-led nature hike or enjoy a picnic lunch nestled on the shore, you’ll be exploring this Virginia State Park like John Smith in no time. Our quiet setting boasts activities for the adventure-hunting and restoration-seeking alike, so be sure to download our free Vacation Guide for more information!

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Things to Do at Belle Isle State Park

The Northern Neck of Virginia encompasses a wide range of adventures for the nature enthusiast. Whether it’s a trip down the Rappahannock River or hiking underneath the bald eagles, you never know where the day will lead. Here’s a glimpse of a few of our favorite things to do at Belle Isle State Park. Our neighbor to the west, Belle Isle is a short 30-minute drive from the Hope and Glory Inn.

Explore the Land

Belle Isle State Park maintains 10 miles of easy-to-follow hiking trails. As you embark on your journey, keep your eyes peeled for friends of the region including white-tailed deer, turkeys, groundhogs, and bunnies. Hop in a birding blind to observe bald eagles and blue herons in their natural habitat. Rent a bike and leave no stone unturned as you cruise around on two wheels. Grab a free park pack from the visitor’s center for field guides and geocaching fun or get a crash-course on Virginia Beach’s favorite pastime, crabbing, for just $2. The park offers an introduction on this nautical hobby led by their expert rangers.

Are you looking to blaze a different path? Hughlett Point Natural Area Preserve and Hickory Hollow Natural Area Preserve also host scenic views. Check out our guide to all of the Northern Neck’s best hiking trails!

Explore the Waterway

Belle Isle State Park’s kayak and stand-up paddleboard rentals provide the best way to get a fish-eye view of the Rappahannock River. Go up a creek (with a paddle), tie off, and jump in for a refreshing dip in the brackish water. Or, read a book while you sunbathe in complete solitude. Your self-guided trip will allow you to meander downstream with the wind at your back where you’re likely to see snow geese flying overhead and river otters splashing around nearby.  

Picnicking Under the Stars

Whether it’s by boat or by land, end your trip at Belle Isle with a picnic at dusk. The park is situated westward on the river, which forms a flawless backdrop for the sun to set. As you wander down the short boardwalk on Mulberry Creek, you’ll find an ideal location for your scenic supper. Toss out the checkered blanket, pop the cork on a bottle of Pearl, and kick off your hiking boots; you’ll want to stay awhile.

Virginia is filled with so many alluring nature retreats. Here’s a list of a few more nearby you’ll want to add to your adventure:

Unwind at the Hope and Glory Inn

Cottage 6 at Hope and Glory Inn

When you’re ready to turn in for the day, unwind in one of the Hope and Glory Inn’s king bedroom suites. Slip into the lap of luxury while you rinse off with a luxurious selection of Gilchrist & Soames toiletries before diving into a crisp waffle robe. Wake up the next morning to the alluringly sweet scent of breakfast foods waiting for you in The Dining Hall. Belle Isle State Park will satisfy your yen for adventure, and we’ll take care of the revitalization. Reserve your stay today!

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