Pleasure House Point Natural Area contains 118 acres of water, tidal marsh, sandy shores, and maritime forest on the Lynnhaven River, just south of the Chesapeake Bay. It is part of the Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network and preserves one the largest undeveloped parcels of land on the Lynnhaven River.
The tidal wetlands of Pleasure House Point provide food and habitat to many bird species throughout the seasons. Herons, Egrets, Osprey, Clapper Rail, Black Skimmer, Seaside Sparrow, American Oystercatcher and a variety of gull species may be observed year-round. Winter provides opportunity to view Nelson’s Sparrow and Yellow-rumped Warbler, plus a wide variety of overwintering waterfowl, such as Ruddy Duck, Bufflehead, Northern Shoveler, Hooded Merganser, and Pied-billed Grebe. Bald Eagles may be spotted during the first half of the year, January – June and in the fall, October – December.
Other wildlife observed here includes varied amphibian, reptile, and invertebrate species; including Northern Diamond-backed Terrapin turtles (a species of Greatest Conservation Need in Virginia), the iconic Chesapeake Bay blue crab, and the Lynnhaven oyster. The area also acts as a nursery for other species of crab and mollusk, as well as fish.
Three sandy trails provide excellent birding and wildlife viewing opportunities. The main trail, the Beach Trail, leads to a beach at the eastern end of the Natural Area and provides close-up views of the marsh along the way.
All types of watercraft, including kayaks and canoes, may be launched nearby at the Lynnhaven Boat Ramp & Beach Facility, located at 3576 Piedmont Circle in Virginia Beach.
If time allows after your wildlife viewing, you may want to stop by the Chesapeake Bay Foundation’s Brock Environmental Center, located adjacent to the Natural Area at its eastern end. This environmentally smart office building is an international model for energy and water efficiency. Reservations for a tour of the green building may be made at 757-622-1964 x3312 or BrockCenterGreenTours@cbf.org.
Physical Address: 3957 Marlin Bay Drive, Virginia Beach
From I-64 in Virginia Beach, take exit 282 to merge onto US-13 N/Northampton Blvd toward Bridge-Tunnel/Chesapeake Bay. Use the right lane to take the US-60 E/Shore Dr ramp to Beaches. Turn right onto US-60 E/Shore Dr and travel 1.2 miles. Turn right onto Marlin Bay Dr. Parking is available along the side of the road on Marlin Bay Dr. Entrance is on the right.
Location & DirectionsView on Google Maps
- Site Contact: City of Virginia Beach Parks & Recreation: 757-385-0400, fun@VBgov.com
- Access: Free to the public; open daily dawn-dusk
Birds Recently Seen at Pleasure House Point Natural Area (as reported to eBird)
- Canada Goose
- Hooded Merganser
- Greater Yellowlegs
- Ring-billed Gull
- Herring Gull
- Great Black-backed Gull
- Double-crested Cormorant
- Great Blue Heron
Seasonal Bird Observations
- Hiking Trails