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Historic Jamestowne, a unit of Colonial National Historical Park

Important Notices

COVID-19 & the VBWT: Be Safe While OutdoorsDGIF encourages you to be safe while outdoors. Before heading out, first check with individual sites on the Virginia Bird & Wildlife Trail to find out whether they are still open to the public. Information regarding closures is typically posted on a site's own website. Be advised that some sites, even if still open, may have certain public facilities closed during this time. If a site is still open, maintain CDC social distancing guidelines while enjoying the outdoors.

Description

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.

Directions

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)

Seasonal Bird Observations

Facilities

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