Virginia Beach, Virginia

Hike the Bald Cypress Trail

1.8 Miles Total - Loop Trail

Originally added by John Maurizi

A short loop hike around bogs and swamps thriving with Bald Cypress Trees.

This is an easy hike that meanders a bit more than any of the other trails in the park. It is also the most diverse in what you will see. The trail itself ranges from an easy foot path with a pine needle bed trail then passes through swamps and bog's via well crafted wood boardwalks with great views of the Bald Cypress and Spanish Moss. The trail is a loop hike of about 1.8 miles. If you only have time for one hike in the park, this should be the one!

The Bald Cypress Tree thrives in this environment. The Bald Cypress is a conifer that drops needle like leaves early in the fall season. This is where it gets that name. But what I found to be the most interesting is the "knees" of the tree. The technical name for these is "pneumatophore." When I first saw these "knees" I thought they were the remains of dead trees that had long fell into the swamp and the trunk eroded. They are actually branches that grow out from the root system of the tree and grow up out of the mud and water. From what I understand, the "knees" provide oxygen to the roots. So what looks like dead trees at first glance, they actually play an important part in the survival the the Bald Cypress. 

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