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Brownsville Preserve


Brownsville Preserve is the headquarters of The Nature Conservancy’s Virginia Coast Reserve. In addition to year-round birding, the diverse habitats of marshes, forests, thickets, grasslands and tidal creeks offer ample wildlife viewing opportunities.

A kiosk with trail maps and information marks the beginning of the three-mile trail. (An audio tour for the trail may be downloaded from the TNC website.) The trail meanders through woodlands, where breeding songbirds are abundant in the summer months and concentrations of migratory neotropical songbirds can be found in the fall. At the edge of the grassland area, you will find an extensive view of salt marsh where herons, egrets, seaside sparrows, marsh wrens, clapper rails and fish crows can be seen year-round.

A screen-front shed near the pond and a grassy field is used for organized educational programs and can provide a good break spot. An elevated observation platform looks out over the marsh offering a different perspective on the extensive Spartina marsh with its meandering tidal creeks and provides an excellent vantage point for viewing shorebirds in Spring and Fall. In addition to birds and other wildlife, this site is excellent for butterfly viewing. Please return to your car using the same trail.



Physical Address: 11332 Brownsville Road, Nassawadox, VA 23413

From the stoplight on US-13 in Nassawadox, turn eastward across the railroad tracks onto Rogers Dr/ Rt. 606. Go 0.2 mile to the stop sign at Rt 600 (Seaside Rd) and turn left (north) onto Seaside Rd. Go 0.2 miles on Seaside Road to Brownsville Rd/ Rt 608. Turn right onto Brownsville Rd. Follow road past preserve entrance sign and look for sign to parking area.

Location & Directions

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Site Information

  • Site Contact: The Nature Conservancy's Virginia Coast Reserve: 757-442-3049,
  • Website
  • Access: Free, Daily; 1/2 hour before sunrise - 1/2 hour after sunset; October - early January (deer hunting season) hours are 9:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Birds Recently Seen at Brownsville Preserve (as reported to eBird)

  • Yellow-billed Cuckoo
  • White Ibis
  • Great Crested Flycatcher
  • White-eyed Vireo
  • Red-eyed Vireo
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  • Carolina Wren
  • Eastern Bluebird
  • Chipping Sparrow
  • Ovenbird

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Hiking Trails
  • Information
  • Parking
  • Restrooms