Hike the White Banks Trail at Elk Neck SP

North East Beach Lot

Enjoy the ups and downs of this cliffside hike, which offers glorious views of the Chesapeake Bay.

Most people visit Elk Neck to photograph the lighthouse, or access to the Bay (the throttle of speed boats is never far), but don't miss out on the trails. The three mile out-and-back White Banks Trail offers crazy-beautiful views of the Chesapeake as well as a moderately difficult workout. Park in the North East Beach lot for $5 a person, or park free in the Mauldin Mountain Lot (you'll need to use a connector trail if you start from the latter). Trails are well-marked and well-maintained. 

If you have time, connect with the Beaver Marsh Trail to get up close and personal to a very active marsh (saw soaring bald eagles and a black snake in early September). These trails are not ideal for beginners or anyone who may be a bit timid around wildlife. Otherwise, Elk Neck is a one-stop park for Bay and beach lovers.  

Pack List

  • Trail map
  • Sunscreen
  • Bugspray
  • Camera
  • Water
  • Snacks
  • Bathing suit
  • Waterproof boots
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RT Distance 6 Miles
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Beach
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Forest
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

White Banks Trail

This was a great hike! Even on a hot and humid day. This trail canopy is so dense it felt about 10 degrees cooler. The trail itself is narrow and we got lost on intersecting trails a few times but with the help of the trail map we were able to easily figure out how to get back on the White Bank Trail. The view from the cliffs over the Chesapeake Bay were gorgeous! We saw a few bald eagles and osprey from here. We also saw a few coal skinks and some black tiger swallows. All in all a wonderful hike! Ps bring lots of water, bug spray and wear hiking boots!


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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