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Chippokes Plantation State Park

Description

Chippokes Plantation State Park’s 1,948 acres combines dense woodlands overlooking the James River with a historic site consisting of one of the oldest continually farmed properties in the country. The park’s natural habitats include tidal marshes and sloughs, stands of loblolly pine, mixed hardwood forest, and bald cypress swamp. During spring, the site offers views of migrating hawks as they pass by the bluffs near the visitor center. The most popular birding spot in the park is probably the College Run Trail that begins just east of the visitor center. Some of the park’s more interesting birds include least bittern, sharp-shinned and red-shouldered hawks, king rail, bald eagle, and more than 20 species of breeding and migrating warblers.

Cultivated lands within the park are foraging sites for eastern bluebird, migrating shorebirds, and several species of raptors. Upon reaching the Mansion site, two trails, the James River Trail and the Lower Chippokes Trail, provide access to tidal wetlands. During summer, guided canoe tours are available on the park’s tidal creek. Those who do not wish to bird from the water will see numerous birds along the park’s roads and trails. By walking along the shoreline, visitors can view an array of fossils of creatures that once lived at the bottom of prehistoric seas.

The park is also a popular spot for cycling. Stop by the park’s visitor center to pick up a trail map.

Directions

Physical Address: 695 Chippokes Park Rd, Surry, VA, 23883

From I-95 and I-295, take Route 10 towards Hopewell. Follow Route 10 East for approximately 40 miles to Surry. Turn left at the intersection of routes 10 and 31 (this continues on Route 10). Turn right at the stop light. Turn left at Route 634 (Alliance Road), and the park entrance is four miles on the left. Because of weight restrictions, those heading east in vehicles weighing more than 3 tons should avoid taking Highgate Rd. off Rt. 10.

Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: 757-294-3728, chippokes@dcr.virginia.gov
  • Website
  • Access: Fee, Daily

Birds Recently Seen at Chippokes Plantation State Park (as reported to eBird)

  • Turkey Vulture
  • American Crow
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  • Carolina Wren
  • Chipping Sparrow
  • Eastern Meadowlark
  • Yellow-throated Warbler
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Royal Tern
  • Black Vulture

Seasonal Bird Observations

Facilities

  • Visitor/Nature Center
  • Bike Trails
  • Camping
  • Fee
  • Hiking Trails
  • Information
  • Interpretive Trail
  • Parking
  • Picnic
  • Restrooms