|First Landing State Park Trails
First Landing State Park (formerly Seashore State Park) offers recreational opportunities at Cape Henry in the independent city of Virginia Beach, Virginia.
The state park is near the site of the first landing on April 26, 1607 of Christopher Newport and the Virginia Company colonists before establishing themselves at Jamestown. The park includes cabins, areas for camping, fishing, and swimming, and over 19 miles (31 km) of trails for hiking and biking. Virginia's most popular state park, it's visited by over a million people each year. Its main entrance is located on Shore Dr. across from the beach camping entrance. First Landing State Park charges a fee for its camping facilities and for the overnight use of its cabins.
Originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s, First Landing State Park is located by the Chesapeake Bay. The park, which is Virginia’s most visited state park, is nestled in Virginia Beach. First Landing offers boating, swimming, nature and history programs, hiking, biking, picnicking, a boat launch, cabins and 20 miles of trails on 2,888 acres. It also has campsites with water and electric hook-ups and nearby access to restrooms and showers.
The park's name was changed in 1997 from Seashore State Park to First Landing State Park to reflect its heritage as the first place where members of the Virginia Company landed. They went on to settle Jamestown.
Park Size: 2,888 acres. Beach, 1.25 miles.
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LOCATION: From I-64, take Northampton Blvd.-U.S. 13 North (Exit 282). Go through eight lights, then turn right at the Shore Drive/U.S. 60 exit (last exit before the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel). Take a right on Shore Drive and go four and a half miles to the park entrance. To reach the Chesapeake Bay Center, park office, camping or cabins, turn left off U.S. Rt. 60 at the stoplight and check in at the contact station. For the Trail Center, picnic area and trails, turn right instead.
Drive Time: Northern Virginia, three and a half hours; Richmond, two hours; Tidewater/Norfolk/Virginia Beach, 20-30 minutes (this facility is in the area); Roanoke, five and a half hours.
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Latitude, 36.918020. Longitude, -76.051547.
Click here (PDF) for a guide of the park's north trail system.
Click here (PDF) for a guide of the park's southern trail system guide.
OVERNIGHT FACILITIES: For information on availability of overnight accommodations, particular park amenities or to make a reservation, you can reserve online or call (800) 933-PARK. Rental rates for cabins and camping vary by season, dwelling and park. First, determine the appropriate season, which can vary by park, then the relevant rate.You also may want to learn about cancellation and transfer policies. A fee is charged per pet per night for overnight stays.
Visit a Flickr photoset of typical cabins and lodges at the park. Cabins and lodges vary; any given dwelling may not match what's shown in the photos.
Park has sites with and without electric/water hookups.
- Firewood for sale at Bay Store (in season).
- Swim at your own risk in Chesapeake Bay; no lifeguards
- Boat launch is free for overnight guests
Total sites of each type: EW-20ft, 76. EW-30ft, 16. EW-50ft, 17. Std-20ft, 74. Std-50ft, 7.; E01-E20 Group Campground, 20.
EW-20ft - Electric/water site for tents, pop-ups and RVs up to 20 feet long. Each campsite has a picnic table and fire-grill. Bathhouse with hot showers. 15-amp service.
EW-30ft - Electric/water site for tents, pop-ups, RVs up to 30 feet length. Each campsite has a picnic table and fire-grill. Bathhouse with hot showers. 30 and 50-amp service.
EW-50ft - Electric/Water site for RVs only 32-50 feet in length. . Each campsite has a picnic table and fire-grill. Bathhouse with hot showers. 30 and 50-amp service.
Std-20ft - No electric/water on this site. Accommodates tents, pop-ups and RVs up to 20 feet in length. Each campsite has a picnic table and fire-grill. Bathhouse with hot showers.
Std-50ft - No electric/water on this site for RVs 32-50 feet in length only. These sites are on gravel and unsuitable for tents. Each campsite has a picnic table and fire-grill. Bathhouse with hot showers.
E01-E20 Group Campground - No electric/water on these sites. Three-site minimum purchase required. Each campsite has a picnic table and fire-grill. Bathhouse with hot showers. Tents, pop-ups, small campers or RVs up to 20 feet. Group camp area - site specific; maximum six people per site.
SWIMMING: Swim at your risk in Chesapeake Bay; no lifeguards. There are no designated swimming areas at the Narrows or boat launch.
TRAILS: Hiking, bicycle and self-guided trails. Nine trails total about 20 miles, including bike and fitness trails. The most popular, the first section of the Bald Cypress Trail, is one-mile, crosses dunes and ponds, and is handicapped accessible. A brochure for the self-guided tour is available at the Trail Center. Trail walks are conducted by interpreters throughout the year, and trail guidebooks are available in the Trail Center. Bicycles allowed on Cape Henry trail only. The park's Bay Store rents bikes.
WILDLIFE: Virginia State Parks are great places to discover and reconnect with the wild world. Bring a camera and share your captures with the world. But please don't disturb or get too close to the animals. The park is, after all, their home. Here are a few recent natural encounters others have had at First Landing.
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