False Cape State Park / Back Bay Wildlife Refuge

Virginia Beach, Virginia

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5 Reviews
5 out of 5
Barrier islands serve as an ecological first line of defense for our shores. Storms batter them, waves wear them down, wind strips them clean. Tucked out of harm’s way behind the islands lie sheltered bays and marshes teeming with grasses, shell-fish, birds, and small animals. False Cape State Park and Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge showcase just one of Virginia’s many barrier island and lagoon ecosystems, albeit a critical one. The preserves stand within striking distance of Hampton Roads’ two million residents and all the incumbent pressures (pollution, development, overcrowding). Sprawl stops at the park boundaries, and hikers and bird watchers are assured a quiet afternoon with space to walk and think, or watch and listen.
Hiking Virginia

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Virginia

by Bill and Mary Burnham (Falcon Guides)

Barrier islands serve as an ecological first line of defense for our shores. Storms batter them, waves wear them down, wind strips them clean. Tucked out of harm’s way behind the islands lie sheltered bays and marshes teeming with grasses, shell-fish, birds, and small animals.

False Cape State Park and Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge showcase just one of Virginia’s many barrier island and lagoon ecosystems, albeit a critical one. The preserves stand within striking distance of Hampton Roads’ two million residents and all the incumbent pressures (pollution, development, overcrowding). Sprawl stops at the park boundaries, and hikers and bird watchers are assured a quiet afternoon with space to walk and think, or watch and listen.

© 2013 Bill and Mary Burnham/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Birding, Fishing, Hiking
Nearby City: Virginia Beach
Distance: 14.7
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Access: Moderate
Duration: 7 hours
Best Times: Back Bay NWR open daily dawn to dusk; interior trails closed Nov through Mar for bird nesting and in Oct for hunting.
Additional Use: Hunting
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: False Cape State Park, Virginia Beach, (757) 426-7128, www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/fal.shtml Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia Beach, (757) 301-7329, www.fws.gov/backbay
Local Maps: USGS North Bay, Knott Island; state park maps available at www.virginiaoutdoors.com
Driving Directions: Directions to False Cape State Park / Back Bay Wildlife Refuge

Recent Trail Reviews

3/22/2018
0

Good hike, better on bike


5/10/2011
0

I live about a mile from Back Bay so I have biked many times through Back Bay and False Cape. Always lots of animals like snakes, turtles, deer, nutria, and in the early mornings or evenings its possible to see wild pigs, foxes, and bob cats. There are many must see places in False Cape like Wash Woods cemetery which has graves dating back to late 1800s and a church steeple, abandoned cars and junk piles from the early-mid 1900s, a monument along the NC/VA line, and even a ship wreck about 1/2 mile north of NC border that can be seen at low tide. Trails become more difficult for the last 3 miles before the NC border but this final stretch is where all the cool sights are.


6/18/2010
0

I have been going to False Cape and Back bay for a long time now 20 plus years. Besides the man eating flies and the killer mosquitoes this place is full of wild life. I go year rounds and wildlife is always present. From whitetail to water snakes to racers to boar there is all sorts of game. The birds are awesome. Water is a premium and it is best to pack extra. There is a new Check in station about .8 miles past the entrance to False Cape. There is drink water there but once you pass that there is not really any place to get water until Carova.


5/20/2007
1

Really great mix of both beach and park. Need to go early in the season because of the biting flies. They were a small nuisance but really not bad yet.


7/2/2003
1

Bring plenty of water. Water is available at the Contact Station. However, avoid days with a West wind because that brings out the flies. Otherwise, this is the greatest park in Virginia!



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