The park is the site of the first landing of the Jamestown colonists in 1607. Native American canoes, colonial settlers, 20th century schooners and modern cargo ships have navigated the park's waterways. During the War of 1812, its Cypress swamps were a source of fresh water for merchant mariners, pirates and military ships. According to local legend, Blackbeard hid in the Narrows area of the park, and interior waterways served as landing sites for Union and Confederate patrols and blockade-runners during the Civil War. Built, in part by an all African-American Civilian Conservation Corps in 1933-1940, the park is a National Natural Landmark and National Historic Landmark. Now, as Virginia's most-visited state park, it's a natural oasis in Virginia Beach's urban oceanfront area. The park has 20 miles of trails and 1.5 miles of sandy Chesapeake Bay beach frontage. Offering many recreational and educational activities, it's a great place to explore unusual habitats featuring bald cypress trees, lagoons, rare plants and wildlife, and maritime forest ecology. Cabins, water and electric hook-up campsites, picnic areas, boat ramps and a camp store with bicycle rentals are also available. The Chesapeake Bay Center houses historical and educational exhibits. The Trail Center, outdoor courtyard, pavilion and amphitheater can be rented for special events and weddings.
Park has sites with and without electric/water hookups.
Firewood is sold at the Bay Store in season and at the park office November through February during business hours.
Swim at your own risk in Chesapeake Bay; no lifeguards
Boat launch is free for overnight guests
Total sites of each type: EW-20ft, 45. EW-30ft, 27. EW-50ft, 36. Std-20ft, 75. 44-65 Group Campground, 22.
EW-20ft: Electric/water site for tents, pop-ups and RVs up to 20 feet long. Each campsite has a picnic table and fire-grill. Bathhouse with hot showers. 20-amp service.
EW-30ft: Electric/water site for tents, pop-ups, RVs up to 30 feet length. Each campsite has a picnic table and fire-grill. Bathhouse with hot showers. 20, 30 and 50-amp service.
EW-50ft: Electric/Water site for RVs only 32-50 feet in length. Each campsite has a picnic table and fire-grill. Bathhouse with hot showers. 20, 30 and 50-amp service.
Std-20ft: No electric/water on this site. Accommodates tents, pop-ups and RVs up to 20 feet in length. Each campsite has a picnic table and fire-grill. Bathhouse with hot showers.
Sites 44 - 65: Group Campground - No electric/water on these sites. Three-site minimum purchase required. Each campsite has a picnic table and fire-grill. Bathhouse with hot showers. Good for tents. Group camp area - site specific; maximum six people per site. A large shelter, which is available to only group campers, may be rented.
Hiking, bicycle and self-guided trails. Ten trails total about 20 miles, including bike and fitness trails. Trail walks are conducted by interpreters in-season, and trail guidebooks are available in the Trail Center. Bicycles are allowed on only Cape Henry and Live Oak trails.
Swim at your risk in Chesapeake Bay; no lifeguards. There are no designated swimming areas at the Narrows or boat launch.
Fishing and crabbing are popular at the park. A valid Virginia saltwater fishing license is required. Annual parking-launching passports are available by calling 1-800-933-PARK.
Boating: Motorboats and other small craft may be launched from the Narrows boat ramp located at the 64th Street extension in the park’s southern area. Facilities include the use of launching ramps, parking for cars and boat trailers and restrooms. Swimming at the Narrows is not advised because currents there are strong.
None at this park.
Wednesday, Mar 29, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Tuesday, Apr 4, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. Eastern Time
Thursday, Apr 6, 2023 at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time
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