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Historic Jamestowne, a unit of Colonial National Historical Park

Important Notices

COVID-19 & the VBWT: Be Safe While OutdoorsDWR encourages you to be safe while outdoors. Before heading out, first check with individual sites on the Virginia Bird & Wildlife Trail for any COVID-19 policies or closures. This information is typically posted on a site's own website. Remember to maintain CDC social distancing guidelines while enjoying the outdoors.


Over 200 bird species have been observed at Jamestown Island, a low-lying island vegetated with short grasses and open woodlands. It offers the birding historian varied habitats to explore, including brackish and freshwater marshes, piney woods, riverside, and pond habitats.

Immediately east of Jamestown Settlement, the island projects into the James River and is separated from the mainland by the Back River and an inlet known as The Thorofare. The island’s 3 and 5-mile, one-way driving loops provide visitors with interpretive exhibits of the area’s early industry and agriculture. During migrations, park visitors should integrate an exploration of the pine woodlands into the historic tour. The woodlands surrounding the Visitor’s Center are one of the most reliable local areas for seeing brown-headed nuthatch, and the forests throughout the island host a variety of woodland birds. The fresh and salt marsh prairies are home to species of egrets, herons and other wetland-loving species. The footbridge behind the Visitor Center crosses a swampy depression that offers a good vantage point to view frogs and turtles, including the eastern mud turtle.

Note: Admission fee or National Park pass required to tour the Island Loop Drive.


Physical Address: 1368 Colonial Parkway, Jamestown, Virginia 23081

From I-64, take exit 242A for Route 199 West. Follow 199 West to the Colonial Parkway, then follow the signs to Historic Jamestowne. 

From Williamsburg, take Colonial Parkway 9 miles south to the Historic Jamestowne Visitor Center.

From the Previous Site on the Lower Peninsula Loop of VBWT: From Greensprings Interpretive Trail at Jamestown High School, return to SR 5 and continue west for 0.7 miles. Turn left on Rt. 614 and travel 2.1 miles to the end. Turn left on SR 359. Cross over SR 31, pass Jamestown Settlement on the right to access the Colonial Parkway.

Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: (757) 898-2433, dorothy_geyer@nps.gov
  • Website
  • Access: Admission Fee or National Park Pass, Open Daily 8;30 am - sunset (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day)

Birds Recently Seen at Historic Jamestowne, a unit of Colonial National Historical Park (as reported to eBird)

  • Mourning Dove
  • Bald Eagle
  • Great Horned Owl
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • Blue Jay

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Visitor/Nature Center
  • Hiking Trails
  • Information
  • Interpretive Nature Program
  • Interpretive Trail
  • Parking
  • Picnic