This preserve is found on the Bay side of the Eastern Shore. Its 29 acres feature coastal beach, dune, and maritime forest habitats. The preserve provides habitat for the federally threatened northeastern beach tiger beetle. Coast bedstraw, an herbaceous plant, grows on the dunes at the interface between open grassy areas and shaded areas where shrubs and trees dominate. During fall migration, the forest abounds with migratory songbirds and raptors resting and feeding before continuing their journey across the Chesapeake Bay.
A long boardwalk takes visitors through several natural communities, including a globally-rare Maritime Dune Woodland, and ends at a low bluff overlooking the Chesapeake Bay. There is no beach access. Due to the sensitivity of the habitat, access to the beach is restricted to researchers and land managers.
End of Bayshore Road
Cape Charles , VA 23310
Phone 1: 757-787-5576
Eyre Hall is one of Virginia’s finest and best-preserved colonial homes. Approached by a long, old-fashioned cedar-lined lane, the house overlooks Cherrystone Creek. Thomas Eyre landed at Jamestown in 1622 to take up patented land on the Eastern Shore in 1623. Eyre descendents have owned land in the lower portion of Northampton County continuously for 12 generations. Littleton Eyre (great-grandson of Thomas) purchased the present site of Eyre Hall and in 1760 built the original gambrel-roofed portion.
The gardens are among the oldest in the country, circa 1800. Ancient boxwood and gnarled crape myrtles tower over the traditional swept paths, all enclosed by a wall of brick brought as ballast from England. On the sunny side, English-style mixed borders add color, and opposite is the family graveyard and romantic orangery ruin from 1819.
3215 Eyre Hall Drive
Cheriton , VA 23316
Phone 1: 757-331-1660
Tucked away and rustic on the bayside of the lower Eastern Shore [Eastville area] this 298-acre preserve contains scenic Chesapeake Bay beach, dune, and maritime forests and provides migratory songbird habitat. Small parking area leads to marked hiking trail. Unforgettable spot.
End of Savage Neck Road (Rt 634)
Eastville , VA 23347
Phone 1: 757-787-5989
This 286-acre preserve encompasses woodlands, forested wetlands and extensive salt marshes. These communities provide habitat for a variety of coastal species. Waterfowl, shorebirds and wading birds forage in the salt marsh for mussel, snails, fish and crustaceans. Diamondback terrapins and clapper rails are common on the mud flats. The woodlands provide excellent resting and foraging habitat for migratory songbirds. Warblers, orioles and other migratory songbirds utilize the abundance of trees and shrubs to rest and replenish energy reserves before crossing the Chesapeake Bay.
Approximately 140 acres of former agricultural fields have been converted to migratory songbird habitat.
The preserve has a designated parking area and is open to the public. There are two walking trails. One loops through the new migratory songbird habitat. The other goes through the songbird habitat, into the existing forest and out to the dike overlooking the marsh along Magothy Bay.
Part or all of the preserve may be periodically closed for resource management activities. Please call before visiting.
East on Bulls Drive from Rt 600
Kiptopeke , VA 23310
Phone 1: 757-787-5989
Mother Nature’s playground is located at the southern tip of the peninsula on the seaside just minutes north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-tunnel. 1,393 acres of maritime forests, thickets, grasslands, fresh and saltwater ponds provide crucial habitat and stopover for wildlife. Visitors can witness the annual drama of the huge fall migration of songbirds, raptors and even monarch butterflies who funnel through here on their way south. Walking trails, photography blind, nature museum and a breathtaking view of the seaside barrier island chain from atop a WWII bunker, make this a year-round must see.
Wise Point Boat Ramp, as part of the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge, is managed to provide wildlife-oriented recreation including fishing, hunting and wildlife observation. Access to the ramp is from Route 13 and Route 600 (Seaside Road) through the refuge onto Ramp Lane.
Fisherman Island Tours are free and offered Saturdays, October thru March. Discover the unique variety of wildlife found on the island and its rich history. For more info:http://www.fws.gov/Northeast/EasternShore/Fisherman%20Island%20Tours.html
32205 Seaside Road
Kiptopeke , VA 23310
Phone 1: 757-331-3425
Phone 2: 757-331-2760 (Headquarters)
Nature rules at a beautiful bay beach, where calm, shallow waters are perfect for small children, and the fun doesn't stop there. A boat launch, fishing pier, (or surf fish right off the beach) picnic and excellent camping facilities combine with walking/biking trails allowing exploration of scenic maritime forests and dunes. Pets are allowed on leash only. Top 100 Family Campgrounds by ReserveAmerica. 5 sun-filled cabins with rocking chairs on porches sleep 16 each.
3540 Kiptopeke Drive
Kiptopeke , VA 23310
Phone 1: 800-933-7275
Phone 2: 757-331-2267
The Nature Conservancy
Brownsville's birding and wildlife trail offers visitors an introduction to the Virginia Coast Reserve.
Birds and other wildlife abound at Brownsville Preserve
From the boardwalk and trails traversing this historic farm, you may see deer, fox, raccoons, blue herons, bald eagles, wild turkeys and many other species of birds. The Conservancy manages Brownsville to enhance bird habitat, and the farm serves as headquarters for the Virginia Coast Reserve.
9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
For visitor safety during the deer hunting season
(October through early January)
the Preserve closes at 3:00 p.m.
Until the Conservancy purchased Brownsville in 1978, the farm had remained in the Upshur family since 1652.
At one time, the owner ran a castor-oil mill on the property. From his wharf on Brownsville Creek, he also shipped huge loads of corn to New York and New England via chartered vessels.
According to Whitelaw's Virginia's Eastern Shore, Mr. Upshur added a frame wing onto the family's 1806 three-story brick home because of the many relatives who lived there. He is claimed to have said, "There is no place to put the sole of my foot." Today, the historic Brownsville house is used to accommodate occasional guests and for special events.
11332 Brownsville Road
Nassawadox , VA 23413
Phone 1: 757-442-3049
Phone 2: 757-442-5418 (Fax)