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Cape Charles Natural Area Preserve   --   Cape Charles
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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.

This site is part of the Virginia Birding & Wildlife Trail (VBWT) which features over 600 sites to view birds and wildlife throughout the Commonwealth, one of which is Cape Charles and can be accessed at this website: https://www.dgif.virginia.gov/vbwt/sites/cape-charles-and-cape-charles-natural-area-preserve/

End of Bayshore Road
Cape Charles , VA  23310

Email:  Dot.Field@dcr.virginia.gov       
Website:  www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/natural_area_preserves/capecharles.shtml

Phone 1:  757-787-5989   (Office)

Phone 2:  757-678-6208   (Mobile)

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Cape Charles Walking Tour   --   Cape Charles
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Cape Charles

Walking Tour


Cape Charles, VA

814 Randolph Avenue
Cape Charles , VA  23310

Email:  MadNaar@hughes.net       
Website:  www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~vanortha/pdf/capecharleswalktour.pdf

Phone 1:  757-331-1008  

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Savage Neck Dunes Natural Area Preserve   --   Eastville
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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

Email:  Dot.Field@dcr.virginia.gov       
Website:  www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural_heritage/natural_area_preserves/savage.shtml

Phone 1:  757-787-5989   (Office)

Phone 2:  757-678-6207   (Mobile)

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Mockhorn Island Wildlife Management Area    --   Kiptopeke
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Mockhorn Wildlife Management Area consists of two tracts, Mockhorn Island and the GATR Tract, both on the seaside of the Eastern Shore. Combined, these tracts give users the opportunity to hunt or to view wildlife and plant species common to both marshland and upland in this unique region of Virginia.

Description

Now you see it. Now you don't. Mockhorn Island, the larger of the area's two tracts, is an Atlantic coastal island of over 7,000 acres of tidal marshland. Visible during low tide, much of the island is under water when the tide is full. The major vegetation is saltmarsh cordgrass. On the hummocks that remain above water, loblolly pine, red cedar, wax myrtle, green brier, honeysuckle and poison ivy are the major plant species. The focus of the management on Mockhorn Island is the conservation of its natural state. Wind and waves make most attempts at habitat manipulations impossible. The 356 acre GATR Tract, nearby on the mainland, is an area of mixed upland and marsh habitats. Both tracts are in Northampton County only a few minutes north of Cape Charles.

Hunting

Spring turkey hunting on the GATR tract is administered through the quota hunt system. Hunters must posses a successful quota hunt authorization to hunt spring gobblers on the GATR tract. Mockhorn Island offers excellent opportunity for hunting clapper rail. The area hosts moderate populations of black ducks, buffleheads, goldeneyes and Atlantic brant on or near the island. Sea ducks, including old squaw and scoters are present on open water. Muskrat, raccoon and river otters are also present. Mockhorn is open to public for hunting rail and waterfowl. It is accessible by boat only. The GATR Tract is open to deer, waterfowl and rail hunting. Only archery equipment may be used for deer hunting.

Fishing

The waters around Mockhorn Island and adjacent to the GATR Tract hold numerous saltwater species, including flounder, channel bass, black drum, gray trout, sea bass, bluefish, croaker, shark and tarpon. Magothy Bay, South Bay, Ship Shoal Channel and New Inlet are among the favored fishing spots.

Other Activities

The scattered high grounds, or hummocks protruding from the marsh, provide an interesting diversity of habitat. The area is a bird watchers paradise. Herons and egrets nest in the low shrubs and trees. Ospreys nest on buoys, channel markers, old submarines lookout towers and man made platforms. Gulls, terns, and other sea and shore birds of various species frequent the area. Kiptopeke State Park and Fisherman's Island National Wildlife Refuge are nearby attractions.

Facilities

There is an excellent boat ramp at Oyster which is the most convenient access to Mockhorn Island and its surrounding waters.

Directions

The best access to Mockhorn Island is from the Oyster boat ramp, located east of Cheriton at the end of Route 639. To reach the GATR Tract, take Jones Cove Road east from Seaside Road.

GATR Tract - take Jones Cove Road east from Seaside Road
Kiptopeke , VA  23310

Email:  Stephen.Living@dgif.virginia.gov       
Website:  www.dgif.virginia.gov/wmas/detail.asp?pid=6

Phone 1:  804-367-1000  

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Southern Tip Bike & Hike Trail   --   Kiptopeke
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The  Southern Tip Bike & Hike Trail has been a great success here at the lower
Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge.

The 2.5 mile trail is paved and meanders alongside
the Old Cape Charles Railroad bed, taking you through upland forest  and alongside agricultural fields. While using the trail one can enjoy views of the Chesapeake Bay. There are several interpretive signs along this paved trail.  

Parking is available at the refuge visitor center with a vault
 toilet and parking at the northern end of the trail at Cedar Grove Drive.

There is a gateway
access to the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge trails at the rear of the Virginia Gateway Welcome Center parking lot.

 

It’s a great day for a walk or bike ride, so bring your bike or put on your walking shoes and enjoy the Lower Eastern Shore countryside while watching wildlife and taking pictures.

32205 Seaside Road (Eastern Shore of Virginia NWR Visitor Center)
Kiptopeke , VA  23310

Email:  FW5RW_ESVNWR@FWS.gov       
Website:  www.FWS.gov/Northeast/EasternShore

Phone 1:  757-331-2760  

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Kiptopeke State Park - Birding / Hiking / Biking   --   Kiptopeke
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Nature rules at this 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 for birding and 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.

3541 Kiptopeke Drive
Kiptopeke , VA  23310

Email:  Kiptopeke@dcr.virginia.gov       
Website:  www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/kip.shtml

Phone 1:  757-331-2267  

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Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge   --   Kiptopeke
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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.

32205 Seaside Road
Kiptopeke , VA  23310

Email:  Jennifer_Braatz@fws.gov       
Website:  www.FWS.gov/Northeast/EasternShore

Phone 1:  757-331-3425   (Visitor Center)

Phone 2:  757-331-2760   (Headquarters)

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Kiptopeke State Park    --   Kiptopeke
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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

Email:  Kiptopeke@dcr.virginia.gov       
Website:  www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/kip.shtml

Phone 1:  800-933-7275   (Reservations)

Phone 2:  757-331-2267  

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Nature Conservancy / VA Coast Reserve / Brownsville Preserve   --   Nassawadox
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The Nature Conservancy

Brownsville's birding and wildlife trail offers visitors an introduction to the Virginia Coast Reserve.

Daily
½ Hour before sunrise
to ½ Hour after sunset

For visitor safety
During the deer hunting season
(October through early January)
the Preserve closes at 3:00 p.m.


Birds and other wildlife abound at Brownsville Preserve
http://nature.org/brownsville 

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.

The William B. Cummings Birding and Wildlife Trail

The trail, a roundtrip total of 3 miles, provides a memorable hike through coastal Virginia scenery.

History of Brownsville

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

Email:  VirginiaCoastReserve@TNC.org       

Phone 1:  757-442-3049  

Phone 2:  757-442-5418   (Fax)

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