Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

4005 Sandpiper Rd.
Virginia Beach, VA 23456- Map It
(757) 301-7329

AAA Editor Notes

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge is at 4005 Sandbridge Rd. The 9,200-acre wildlife preserve is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean on the east side and by Back Bay on the west. A variety of waterfowl can be seen. The refuge's protected habitats range from beaches to woodlands and also are home to such creatures as loggerhead sea turtles and ghost crabs. The seasonal Blue Goose Express, an open-air tram, provides a guided tour through the refuge as well as access to False Cape State Park, a 1-mile-wide barrier spit situated between the Back Bay and Atlantic Ocean. Travel time between the refuge and the state park is 20 minutes each way; tram passengers are allowed 2 hours to explore the park, which includes five trails and an environmental education center. The Visitor Contact Station at the refuge offers exhibits, brochures and educational programs. More than 8 miles of trails, some decked, are available for hikers and bicyclists. Other recreational pursuits include fishing, boating and hunting. Guided tours are available. Recreational activities are permitted. Picnicking is permitted. Time: Allow 30 minutes minimum.
Refuge Apr.-Oct. $5 (per private vehicle); $2 (per person arriving by other means). Refuge rest of year free. Blue Goose Express tram $8; $6 (ages 3-11 and 62+). Tram seating is first-come, first-served.
Hours: Refuge open daily half-hour before dawn to half-hour after dusk; some trails are closed seasonally. Visitor Contact Station open Mon.-Fri. 8-4, Sat.-Sun. 9-4, Apr.-Oct.; Mon.-Fri. 8-4, Sat. 9-4, rest of year. Blue Goose Express tram departs daily at 9, Memorial Day-Labor Day; Fri.-Sun. at 9, Apr. 1-day before Memorial Day and day after Labor Day-Sept. 31; schedule varies rest of year. Closed major holidays.