Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

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Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

Created in 1938, this 9,250-acre wildlife refuge provides a feeding and resting habitat for migratory birds, a critical segment in the Atlantic Flyway. Explore the gorgeous natural environment just South of Sandbridge Beach that includes beaches, dunes, woodlands, agriculture areas, and freshwater marshes. You can hike or leisurely stroll the over 8 miles of scenic trails as you keep your eyes open for tundra swans, Canada geese, or ducks on their migratory path. The peak season for bird watching is typically December through January. You can even fish or bike here as well!

This area has served as a buffer against development, creating considerably less erosion and fertilizer/chemical runoff. Because of this, there has been a dramatic overall increase in aquatic vegetation, number of waterfowl, and water quality in general, as you will learn at the Visitor Station. Get ready to explore the thin strip of barrier island coastline and uplands as you watch the local wildlife and take in all the Virginia Beach scenery you can!


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