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Virginia Beach, VA: Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge

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Distance: 7.6 miles


Sea turtles, white-tailed dear, and snow geese are just a few of the diverse wildlife species you might spot on this 7.6-mile coastal hike.
  • Visitor Contact Station
  • Dike View
  • Dike Crossing
  • Junction
  • Wildlife Viewing Platform
  • Wildlife Area View
  • Grasslands

Covering 9,000 acres on and around a thin strip of coastline in the southeast corner of Virginia, the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge plays host both to diverse wildlife species and habitats. This 7.7-miler near Virginia Beach ambles through beach, sand dunes, woodlands, farm fields, and marshland. Numerous wildlife species can be spotted here, including water fowl (snow geese and blue herons), endangered/threatened species (loggerhead sea turtles and piping plovers), a diverse mix of reptiles and amphibians (frogs and snakes galore), and more standard mammals (white-tailed deer, foxes, and rabbits).

Starting from the Visitor Contact Station, this hike loops counter-clockwise on fairly level, coastal terrain (and offers a few opportunities to shorten the trip). Along the way, a handful of wildlife viewing areas and platforms offer an opportunity to enjoy the tranquility of the refuge and observe its inhabitants.

-Mapped by Ivan Levin

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