Williamsburg, Virginia

Hike the Riverview Trail

7.5 Miles Total - 150 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by John Maurizi

Hike along old plantation carriage roads to a beach loaded with fossils.

From the parking area at the visitor center, pick up the Backbone Trail marked with gold blazes.  The trails are well marked with signage and arrows.  Follow the Backbone Trail for 2 miles under you reach the trail junction of Powhatan Forks Trail.  After a half mile the this trail splits with the Riverview Trail on the right.

The Riverview Trail is 1.5 miles long and ends at a sand beach along the York River.  Most of the trails here are carriage roads but most of the Riverview Trail is single track. 

When you reach the beach explore around but be sure to go left (with the York River on your right) for the highest concentration of fossils.  The park does show directions to a fossil beach on the park map but this has been picked dry.  I learned about this beach from a park ranger at York River.  The fossils consist of scallop shells and petrified large barnacles but shark teeth can also be found.  The park service permits each person to take one fossil.

This is a great outing, especially for families with inquisitive children.  Note, there is a $4 entrance fee.  There is a self pay kiosk or you can go into the visitor center where they have a gift shop and small museum. 

Read More

Tags

Chillin
Photography
Hiking
Beach
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
River

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

First Day Hike

Wanted to see how my corgi and I would do on a longer (for us) hike. Jan 1, 2018. No entrance fee for this day. Cold (26*F). Trail is mostly flat and wide. The shore of the river had ice so we didn't stay long-long enough for snacks and treats! And we went left on the beach but didn't find any fossils. Didn't look too hard though. Only saw about 10 people on the trail.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

Stay Nearby

Williamsburg, Virginia

Williamsburg / Busch Gardens Area KOA

Elberon, Virginia

Blackwater Birds And Bees

Very secluded site, on a ridge, overlooking the Blackwater river. Set up your tents under huge old beech and oak trees while you enjoy a beautiful view of one of Virginia's only designated scenic w...

From $53/night

Cape Charles, Virginia

Cape Charles / Chesapeake Bay KOA

10061 Kings Dominion Boulevard

Richmond North / Kings Dominion KOA

Nearby Adventures

  • Stargaze at Little Creek Dam Road

    This stargazing spot is a wonderful place to test your star photography, or a sweet place to relax and chill with friends. It's a quiet and relaxing spot.It's a little windy, so bring appropriate clothing to sit there and stargaze. And make sure t...

  • Visit Colonial Williamsburg

    Williamsburg, Virginia , founded in 1632, is one of the oldest cities in America. The city has played major roles in American history as the capital of Virginia and as a political center for the American Revolution. Today the city offers an abunda...

  • Bike the Virginia Capital Trail

    There are numerous access points to pick up the Capital Trail, however, we chose to ride the entire 51.2 mile route from Williamsburg to Richmond, VA. Mile marker "0" begins the Jamestown Settlement in Williamsburg. There is a huge parking lot the...

    51.2 miles 160 ft gain

  • Bike Jamestown Island

    The trail is open to cyclists and pedestrians, but does share the road with some vehicle traffic. The speed limit is slow and often there is little traffic. There also is no parking at the actual trail head, so one must begin at the Visitor Center...

    5.1 miles 45 ft gain