- The preserve's abundant wetlands harbor more rare animals, plant life and natural communities than anywhere else east of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The expansive freshwater marshes and cypress swamps dominate the preserve. Great purple hairstreak, scarce swamp skipper and canebrake rattlesnake are just a few of the rare animals living at this preserve. Elliott's aster, featherfoil large, cranberry and Carolina Sheep-laurel are listed among the rare plant life. Bird-watching, canoeing, kayaking and hiking are welcomed.
Recreation - First Landing State Park and False Cape State Park are two state parks offering diverse wildlife, swimming opportunities and overnight facilities. False Cape is a much more challenging park to reach, however, its pristine beaches and interesting woodlands make for a memorable experience. Limited access warrants advance planning.
Climate - Virginia generally has mild winters and warm humid summers. The eastern portion of the state has winter temperatures averaging above 36 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius). The state's summer temperatures have little variation. The eastern portion of Virginia generally experiences temperatures above 78 degrees Fahrenheit (26 Celsius). High humidity along with warm temperatures can be uncomfortable.
From Chesapeake, Virginia take I-64 south to Battlefield Boulevard (Rt. 168) for approximately 9 miles. Turn left on Hickory Road and travel only .8 mile until it ends at Centerville Turnpike. Turn right, then an immediate left onto Head of River Road. Travel 6.5 miles till the road forks. Bear left. Travel .2 mile till the road ends at Blackwater Road. Turn left and travel .6 mile where you will see the preserve's entrance on the right side of the road. About .7 mile down the gravel road is a parking area, trailhead and canoe launching facility.