Skip to Main Content

Cape Charles Natural Area Preserve


The 29-acre Cape Charles Natural Area Preserve, owned by Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation, has a long boardwalk that traverses several natural communities, including a Maritime Loblolly Pine Forest, and ends at a low bluff overlooking the Chesapeake Bay. The preserve provides habitat for the federally threatened northeastern beach tiger beetle and is part of the Lower Delmarva Important Bird Area. Over two hundred forty species of birds have been observed at this Preserve. Good birding can be found here year-round, but fall is particularly special. During fall bird migration, the forest abounds with migratory songbirds and raptors resting and feeding before continuing their journey across the Chesapeake Bay. Spring migration is also productive for songbirds. In winter, a diversity of waterfowl can be spotted out on the bay.


  • Access is restricted to the boardwalk. Stay on the boardwalk.
  • There are no facilities on site.


Physical Address: 

From US 13, turn west onto SR 184/ Stone Rd, then turn left on Fig St. Turn right on Mason Ave and then, almost immediately, make a very sharp left on Old Cape Charles Rd/ SR 641 and continue .4 miles. Turn right on Bayshore Rd and continue .6 miles as the road curves. Turn right onto Patrick Henry Ave. Park behind the building and head towards the kiosk to find the trailhead.


Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: Virginia Department of Conservation & Recreation, Eastern Shore Region Steward: 757-787-5989
  • Website
  • Access: Free, Open daily, dawn to dusk

Birds Recently Seen at Cape Charles Natural Area Preserve (as reported to eBird)

  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  • Osprey
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Great Crested Flycatcher
  • Blue Jay
  • Fish Crow
  • Carolina Chickadee
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Carolina Wren
  • European Starling

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Accessible
  • Hiking Trails
  • Information
  • Parking
  • Observation Platform