Recreation and Wildlife on the Eastern Shore
The Eastern Shore of Virginia is as renowned for its unspoiled natural beauty as it is for its history. From top to bottom, the Shore has managed to conserve almost all of her wetlands, tidal areas and forests and this makes our area a unique and special place to enjoy a retirement or leisure home.
The very southern tip of the Eastern Shore, 752 acres including Fisherman Island, is now in the hands of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is a National Wildlife Refuge. Besides housing a well equipped observation and learning center, the refuge features beautiful walking tours, a World War II bunker which offers incredible views of the refuge, butterfly trails, photography blinds, fresh and salt water ponds, the unparalleled Chesapeake Bay, 294 species of birds and the migratory pathway for over 400 species of neotropical birds. For more information call 757-331-2760.
Just to the north of this National Wildlife Refuge is Kiptopeke State Park. Kiptopeke State Park is located on what used to be ferry grounds to Norfolk. The entire 375 acres are dedicated to natural preserve, but the park also provides fishing, swimming and camping. The whole park borders the Chesapeake Bay.
At the Northern tip of the peninsula is the National Wildlife Refuge at Chincoteague. The Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and Assateague Island National Seashore Park comprise miles of beaches, 1818 acres of conservancy, 250 species of birds, the endangered fox squirrel, the sika deer and of course the famous Chincoteague Ponies. For folks who live on the Shore, this is a fun place to take visiting friends and relatives for an afternoon of bird watching.
And lastly, we cannot forget to mention the two non-profit groups that have done especially wonderful work on the Shore to conserve our natural beauty, The Nature Conservancy / Virginia Coast Reserve and the Chesapeake Bay Foundation.
The Eastern Shore of Virginia is a special conservation project of The Nature Conservancy with a goal to protect a large working ecosystem in partnership with the local community. The Virginia Coastal Reserve is a sanctuary composed of 14 barrier islands and has been declared a special United Nations Biosphere. These islands were purchased by The Nature Conservancy in the early 1970’s to protect them from immanent development and the Virginia Coast Reserve is now the largest chain of undeveloped Barrier Islands on the east coast thanks to Conservancy efforts. The islands are accessible by boat and except during nesting season, the Conservancy still allows folks to beach their boats on the shore and walk these pristine beaches. It’s hard to describe the special thrill of being alone on a barrier beach, waves pounding, seabirds swooping!
The Chesapeake Bay Foundation is dedicated to sustaining the Bay’s ecosystem by maintaining the water quality, productivity of the watershed, resilience of the system and diversity and abundance of its living resources.
All of this to say that we have abundant wildlife and we have plenty of places to enjoy it. The Eastern Shore of Virginia is a birdwatcher’s heaven and a sport fisher’s dream.
Blue Heron Realty Company is a local, family-owned real estate firm specializing in prime waterfront land and homes located on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, the Chesapeake Bay, and Cape Charles.Copyright © 2017 Blue Heron Realty Co.