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Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia Beach

(4.6/5 based on 240+ reviews on the web)
Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge in southeastern Virginia is located in the independent city of Virginia Beach. Established in 1938 in an isolated portion of the former Princess Anne County, it is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The administrative office is located on Sandbridge Road at Sigma between Lago Mar and Sandbridge Beach. The Visitor Contact Center is accessed via Sandpiper Road from the Sandbridge area of Virginia Beach, which is the southernmost area of development on the Atlantic Coast of Virginia.Most of the 9,062.45 acre (36.67 kmĀ²) fresh water refuge is on the Currituck Banks Peninsula, which borders the Atlantic Ocean on the east and the Back Bay of the Currituck Sound on the west. As part of Virginia's Outer Banks, the refuge's barrier islands feature large sand dunes, maritime forests, fresh water marshes, ponds, ocean beach, and large impoundments for wintering wildfowl. The majority of refuge marshlands are on islands contained within the waters of Back Bay. It is considered by conservationists to be an important link along the Atlantic Flyway for migratory birds such as snow geese.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • This is a very peaceful place in early March. The weather was cool but the trails are nice and the bird viewing blind at the end of the trail was a nice place to watch the herons and a grebe moving ar...  more »
  • We walked from the visitor center to the ocean (about 1/4 mile - easy walk) and set up our spotting scope on the beach. We had nice views of some very nice birds, our favorite being a Razorbill. It wa...  more »
  • Pretty boardwalk trails, nice path through the protected dunes to the beach, all spotless. Bring your fishing gear. Several ponds and bay spots. We were here in Feb on a 70 degree day. Saw dolphins in...  more »
Google
  • I come here to get away from the Beach crowds when I surf fish. Love that it is mostly untouched natural beach habitats with plenty of wildlife to watch. Has nice trails for biking and hiking and very primitive camping if your willing to make the trip deeper in to False Cape state park. If your looking to get away from the touristy side of the beach and enjoy it in its natural side then this is your place.
  • loved our fieldtrip to BBNWLR! so fun and informative!
  • Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge offers a beautiful up close view of the coastal landscape and wildlife. Enjoy a walk on the beach or through the marsh on boardwalks. Keep your eyes open for the reptiles! It is an absolutely gorgeous place with wonderful opportunities for photography.
  • We saw about 6 dolphins that were swimming around large bait balls about 40 yards out! Holly crap! Crazy awesome and loved all one hour we were there!
  • Peaceful, quiet. Good place to relax and enjoy the birds.