Skip to Main Content

False Cape State Park


False Cape State Park occupies a narrow barrier spit between Back Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The park’s location allows visitors to observe beaches, dunes, maritime forests of oak and pine, wooded swamps, marshes, and the bay all in one visit. This area is considered one of the last relatively undisturbed coastlines on the East Coast and has an abundance of wildlife including some 54 rare and endangered species. The park hosts an interesting assemblage of migrating and nesting songbirds, waterfowl, and shorebirds that visit the park’s diverse habitats throughout the year. Visitors may also see mammals such as fox, white-tailed deer, river otters, and nutria. A variety of interesting reptiles reside in the park including eastern glass lizard and Carolina anole, both of which reach their northern limits here.

To get a taste of the park, the Back Bay Restoration Foundation operates a tram that leaves from Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center (4005 Sandpiper Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23456). The tram drives through the Refuge providing a unique opportunity to view and learn about the array of wildlife found in the area, as well as learn about the history and conservation efforts of the Refuge and State Park. The trip includes a self-paced one-mile hike (round trip) to the Historic Wash Woods Site.

The park features primitive camping and an extensive environmental education program.

Please Note: Access to the site is through the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and is limited to hiking, bicycling, tram, beach transporter, or boat. Motor vehicle access is prohibited.

Tram operation dates: Apr. 1 – Oct. 31. The tram provides a round-trip ride and is not available for overnight guests. Overnight guests must either hike, bike, or boat in through the Refuge.

Beach transporter operation dates: Nov. 1 – Mar. 31.  For beach transporter reservations, call 800-933-7275.


Physical address of parking location (Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge): 4005 Sandpiper Road, Virginia Beach, VA 23456

From Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, continue south by bicycle or on foot for 5.5 miles. Motor vehicle access is prohibited.

Entrance Fees: April 1- Oct. 31. See website.

Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: 757-426-3657,
  • Website
  • Access: Fee, Daily

Birds Recently Seen at False Cape State Park (as reported to eBird)

  • Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • Great Crested Flycatcher
  • Purple Martin
  • Brown-headed Nuthatch
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • King Rail
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Tricolored Heron
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Visitor/Nature Center
  • Bike Trails
  • Camping
  • Environmental Study Area
  • Fee
  • Hiking Trails
  • Information
  • Interpretive Nature Program
  • Interpretive Trail
  • Lookout Tower
  • Picnic
  • Restrooms
  • Kayak/Canoe Launch
  • Viewing Blinds