Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

There’s always something happening in Hampton Roads. Great restaurants, excellent shopping, significant historical sites, and much more, bring thousands of visitors every year. Even long-time residents can discover exciting things to do. One of Hampton Roads’ biggest attractions though, is the natural beauty. Besides the miles of beaches, there are serene rivers, beautiful botanical gardens, scenic wildlife refuges, and more.

Since 1938, Virginia Beach has been home to the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. It started out as a 4,589-acre refuge for migratory birds. It has since grown to over 9,000 acres, which include biking, hiking, wildlife watching, fishing, and boating opportunities. There are over eight miles of picturesque trails for visitors. The habitat for wildlife includes an inviting coastline, majestic woodlands, sandy dunes, freshwater marshes, and miles of fields. Some of the wildlife you can expect to see while you’re enjoying the scenery includes the American black duck, Canadian geese, tundra swan, white-tailed deer, owls, blue heron, bobcats, river otters, and more.

Tram tours are available if you want to be guided rather than doing your own thing. Trams have open sides for easy viewing. The Blue Goose Trams start at the entrance to the Refuge at 9:00AM and return at 12:45PM and include a one-mile hike to the historic Wash Woods cemetery cite. There’s also an evening tram tour on Fridays from 6:00PM to 7:30PM. These tours cover only the Refuge grounds. No reservations are necessary. For more information, contact the wildlife refuge office.

The Refuge is open daily from a 1/2 hour before sunrise until 1/2 hour before sunset. There’s no entry after sunset. Find directions here and fee information here.

If you’re looking for a new apartment in Hampton Roads, please contact us for information about Waypoint Apartments. We have several communities throughout the area.


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