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Virginia > Virginia National Wildlife Refuges > Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge
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Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge
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General Information

Description - Back Bay NWR is located in SE Virginia in the Atlantic Flyway. Biological resources include beach/dune grasslands, barrier spit woodlands and shrub lands, marshes and forested swamps. The Refuge's barrier beach extends 4.2 miles along the Atlantic shoreline from the city's Little Island Recreational Area on the north to the False Cape State Park on the south. The North Carolina state line is 10 miles from the southern boundary of the Refuge. Management objectives have been developed and expanded to provide for a broad spectrum of wildlife, with emphasis on waterfowl, shorebirds, and threatened and endangered species. The Refuge provides wildlife-oriented recreation and environmental education consistent with Refuge objectives. The fee for private vehicles is $4/day; pedestrian or bicyclist, $2/day. Entrance passes are available at the station's visitor contact station. Visitors should call prior to visiting the Refuge as there are seasonal closures effective year round.

Recreation - This park is about a 30 minute drive south of the Virginia Beach ocean front. Virginia Beach is a bustling commercial tourist attraction offering enjoyment and variety for both families and singles. The sandy beach and boardwalk is very inviting and offers a variety of entertainment. The boardwalk area has attractive evening lighting and is well patrolled making an evening stroll very pleasant. The boardwalk is also very popular with in-line skating, however, skateboarders are prohibited. Virginia Marine Science Museum, Norfolk Naval Air Force Base, First Landing State Park and Old Cape Henry Memorial are just a few of the other popular recreational opportunities available.

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.

Location - From the Virginia Beach ocean front resort area, follow Pacific Avenue to General Booth Boulevard. Turn left on Princess Anne Road, left on Sandbridge Road, right on Sandpiper Road. Follow south to end of Sandpiper Road.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
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Filed By: Bill and Laurie (Takoma Park, MD)
Number of People Encountered: 11-25 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: We brought our bikes there in August. The description on this site doesn't tell you, but you have to park your car and bike or hike into the refuge. A gravel road takes you several miles through a scrub area with wetlands full of wildlife: large birds, small mammals and reptiles abound. The only caution is to prepare for the heat, humidity and hot sun in the summer by wearing a hat, sunscreen, repellant and plenty of water. I don't remember a problem with mosquitos, but they can be bad-- and we have West Nile virus here in the East. We're going back again this summer!

More Information

Contact Information:
Back Bay NWR, 4005 Sandpiper Rd. , Virginia Beach, VA, 23456, Phone: 757-721-2412
, r5rw_bbnwr@fws.gov

Additional Information:
Tidewater, Hampton Roads & Eastern Shore Travel Region - Home to one of America's largest resort cities which has two state parks and a national wildlife area within its borders.
Virginia Beach Area - This is Virginia's largest and fastest growing city. Developed initially as a resort town, the city lies on the southern Atlantic coast of the state.
Virginia National Wildlife Refuges - The Wildlife Refuges in Virginia cover areas of upland forests, wetland forests, marshlands, rivers, coastal estuaries and more. Visitors will find quality hunting, fishing, wildlife watching and more.


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