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Noland Trail Turns 25

2016 marks the 25th anniversary of The Mariners’ Museum and Park’s beloved Noland Trail. Dedicated as a gift from the Noland family in 1991, the trail has been a community treasure ever since. The trail is owned and maintained by the Museum, with ongoing support from the Noland Family.

We invite the community to share their favorite stories, experiences and memories that involve the Noland Trail. We would love to see your photos, poems, songs and cherished moments.

Discover the Noland Trail with Dr. Harold Cones

Cost is $5 for adults and children. Free for Museum Members.

  • May 7, 2016 – Photographing the Park
    BYOC (Bring your own camera) and learn photography techniques while exploring the flora and fauna of The Mariners’ Museum Park and Noland Trail.
  • June 18, 2016 – History of the Park
    Discover the fascinating history of The Mariners’ Museum Park.
  • July 9, 2016 – Park Ecology
    Learn about the native and invasive plants and animals who inhabit The Mariners Museum Park.

Weather permitting. All programs are offered in the Park and on the Noland Trail. Be sure to wear appropriate shoes, clothing, and protection for outdoor adventure. All programs run from 8:00 AM – 10:00 AM Programs begin at the main Museum entrance.


Entrance to The Noland Trail


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5 entries.
Geneva Geneva wrote on May 19, 2017:
My mom took me and my three sisters (two of them were ages 3 and 4) on a walk on the Noland Trail one afternoon. We struggled along, nudging the little girls on when they didn't want to walk anymore. When we got to the loop at the end of the trail, my mom said we must go on. I dissented and said we should turn around here. However, my mom proceeded to guide us through the little path past the loop and onward. My older sister and I got angry because we were tired and sick of carrying babies around on this trail we didn't know where the end was. At this point, I can't remember exactly where we were walking, but it was across a large open field, and it started raining, and getting dark. We became desperate, because it became apparent that my mom did not know where we were at all. I remember walking across the Lion's Bridge while it was raining and twilight. My little sisters were crying, and my older sister and I were crying. My mom would not concede defeat. Eventually, it got very dark, and very rainy, and we all were scared. We had no idea where we were, we were soaking wet with little kids, and we were tired and hungry. My mom had the idea to walk through a neighborhood and knock on people's doors. The first couple of knocks at the door were fruitless. Some people didn't answer at all, and some flatly refused to assist us. It was humiliating. Finally, one family let us in. It was an older woman who loved to quilt. She showed us all of her beautiful hand stitched quilts. Her son also lived with her. He was very odd, but kind enough. They gave us towels to dry ourselves off, hot chocolate to warm us up, and food to boot. My sisters and I sat on the front hallway, completely numbed by the predicament. My mom used the family's telephone to call the Mariner's security office to ask them to open the parking lot so we could get our car back. The son drove us back to the parking lot, we reunited with our car, and drove home, tired, wet, and shaken.
Mike Rowland Mike Rowland from Virginia Beach wrote on May 15, 2017:
Fantastic hike on a sunny Mother's Day. Highlight on the last arm of the lake before the Bridge of Lions. A giant turtle was floating near the waters edge. A much smaller cousin started to climb on her back. After a stern look from the monster, the youngster thought better and quickly scooted off.
Ken Ferguson Ken Ferguson from Newport News wrote on June 14, 2016:
I met my girlfriend at a group walk at Noland Trail. First time we saw each other in person was on that walk.
rand milam rand milam wrote on March 7, 2016:
Walking the Noland Trail in Mariners Museum Park is the undeniable, unparalleled experience on the peninsula that with a walk among trees will take you to a place where you can dream. Spring is coming and the colors with stir your imagination on the walking Noland Trail. It is written in stone, "I have grown taller from walking with the trees", on the Noland Trail.
Dennis Jarabak Dennis Jarabak from Yorktown wrote on February 18, 2016:
I have been running the trail for 20 years. One of my favorite experiences was running one late afternoon on a late fall day. I usually run the trail in reverse (i.e. mile post 5 to mile post 0) As I was about to finish near the water fountain, near the main parking lot I approached the last bridge. In the fading light I noticed a large object sitting on the bridge railing. Closer I realized it was a large owl who was eying me very closely (as a late dinner maybe?). We both tilted our heads from side to side trying to size each other up. I was about three feet away when it spread its wings and just as I thought it was going to swoop down on me it turned and flew down the dark trail. What an amazing bird and to be so near it in such a beautiful place. I am truly thankful that we have such an awesome trail and park to enjoy. Thanks to the Noland family and the Mariners Museum for allowing us to enjoy it.