Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail

Site Information

  • Seasons: All
  • Site Contact: (757) 426-7128
  • Site Access: Fee, Daily
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Site CSY07: False Cape State Park


False Cape State Park occupies a narrow barrier spit between Back Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The park's location allows visitors to observe beaches, dunes, maritime forests of oak and pine, wooded swamps, marshes, and the bay all in one visit. This area is considered one of the last relatively undisturbed coastlines on the East Coast and has an abundance of wildlife including some 54 rare and endangered species. The park hosts an interesting assemblage of migrating and nesting songbirds, waterfowl, and shorebirds that visit the park's diverse habitats throughout the year. Visitors may also see mammals such as fox, white-tailed deer, feral hogs and horses, river otters, and nutria. A variety of interesting reptiles reside in the park including eastern glass lizard and Carolina anole, both of which reach their northern limits here. Access to the site is through the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and is limited to hiking, bicycling, tram, or boat. The park features primitive camping and an extensive environmental education program. To get a taste of the park, the Back Bay Restoration Foundation operates a tram that leaves from Little Island City Park, drives through the wildlife refuge and lets visitors explore the park for an hour in the Barbour Hill contact station area. The tram provides a round-trip ride and is not available for overnight guests. Overnight guests must either hike, bike, or boat in through the refuge.


Continue south from Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge by bicycle or on foot for 5.5 miles. Motor vehicle access is prohibited except by special trams that run periodically from Little Island Park. Fees: see website.

Loop Map