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“Nice way to spend a couple of hours”

Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge
Norfolk, Virginia
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Nice way to spend a couple of hours”
Reviewed August 7, 2012

This was a great place to visit with our kids and their grandparents. Nice visitor center with exhibits and a helpful volunteer staffing it. Easy trail (Butterfly Trail) connects to WWII bunker which offers great views of the marsh, barrier island and ocean from the top (take the path to the right and climb the stairs after you pass through the bunker--note that there are lots of stairs to climb to get to the top). Finally, the trail ends with a great view of the marsh where we saw lots of birds, fish, etc.

The refuge also has a boat and kayak ramp which we saw, but did not use.

Visited August 2012
Thank Andrew1776
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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80 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Virginia Beach, Virginia, United States
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Butterflys and civil war history in one”
Reviewed July 1, 2012

My daughter nd I went up for the day, and the butterfly trail was a lovely walk. a great way to spend an afternoon, and learn something to boot.

Visited May 2012
Thank Monica L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Wild Ponies in the vast nature”
Reviewed June 25, 2012

It was wonderful to watch the wild colony of Pony. Tom Cove beach that was not so far away from the wild ponies was very pretty, relaxed, and friendly.

Visited June 2012
1 Thank Masajo S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chevy Chase, Maryland
Level 5 Contributor
73 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
“A nice diversion”
Reviewed April 16, 2012

A visitor center and a couple of short walking trails are the extent of the wildlife refuge experience for travelers. Makes for a nice diversion while driving along the highway, but it is definitely not a destination in and of itself.

The best part of the visit is a climb to the top of the observation deck on the wildlife trail. The stairs are fairly manageable, and the view of the marsh and the ocean beyond is very nice.

FYI. The best trail is the Wildlife Trail, not the Butterfly Trail that begins at the visitor center. To get to the Wildlife Trail pass the visitor center and take the next right.

Visited April 2012
Thank Scott J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
159 reviews
57 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
“Great way to start a tour of the Eastern Shore or the Chesapeake Bay”
Reviewed November 27, 2011

My family and I spent a delightful afternoon at the wildlife refuge, enjoying the easy trails, bird sightings, and history lessons we received from the staff and the signs. We stopped at the wildlife refuge after crossing the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel (and stopping at that visitor's center to learn about the bridge/tunnel), so this was a good start to our understanding of the economy and ecology of the bay.
The staff are friendly, welcoming, and very knowledgeable. If we had a question about anything in the area, the rangers had an answer. They went out of their way to point us in the right direction to see "snowies" (egrets) and to provide us with directions within the park as well as maps and information for the whole Eastern Shore.
The visitor's center offers dioramas and videos explaining the history and ecology of the bay, maps showing migration routes, and binoculars for birding. Activities and activity backpacks are available for kids (backpacks include animal/bird spotting guides and binoculars for a small fee). The trails are flat, the plants are native and beautiful, and flying creatures abound.
Free. Stroller and wheelchair accessible. Boat launch available for small fee; kayak/canoe launch is free.

Thank JessicaM6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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