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The Nature Conservancy’s Vandell Preserve at Cumberland Marsh


An observation deck and handicapped-accessible boardwalk offer superb birding opportunities as well as excellent views of the freshwater tidal marsh. Bald eagle and osprey patrol the skies above the marsh, while herons and egrets hunt in its waters. Late fall is prime viewing season for migrating and wintering waterfowl that stop to utilize Cumberland Marsh for feeding and resting. River otter and other aquatic mammals also find the marsh hospitable. The forest that buffers the wetlands of Holt’s Creek hosts a number of migratory songbirds during the spring and fall. Birding along the hiking trails will typically turn up a variety of species.

Please remember that Cumberland Marsh is a Nature Preserve and as such, contains sensitive natural communities. Respect this area by staying on designated paths, leaving pets at home, not removing anything from the area, and packing out all trash.


Location: Cumberland Rd, New Kent, VA 23124

Coordinates: 37.5418001242, -76.985286898

From Richmond, take I-64 east to SR 155 at New Kent/Providence Forge, Exit #214. Travel north 2.2 miles to SR 249, turn right, pass through New Kent and, after 2.2 miles, turn left (after the post office) on Rt. 637. At 2.2 miles, just before the hospital, you will see the Preserve’s sign on the left. Follow the gravel road to the the parking area at the edge of the field.

Location & Directions

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Site Information

  • Site Contact: The Nature Conservancy, Virginia: 434-295-6106
  • Website
  • Access: Free, Daily

Birds Recently Seen at The Nature Conservancy’s Vandell Preserve at Cumberland Marsh (as reported to eBird)

  • Mourning Dove
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Cooper's Hawk
  • Yellow-throated Vireo
  • American Crow
  • Carolina Wren
  • Northern Mockingbird
  • Brown-headed Cowbird
  • Common Grackle
  • Northern Cardinal

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Environmental Study Area
  • Accessible
  • Hiking Trails
  • Information
  • Parking