This preserve, found on the Bay side of the Eastern Shore, is within the Audubon Lower Delmarva Important Bird Area (IBA) and considered internationally significant for migratory birds according to Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program’s Geospatial and Educational Mapping System (Coastal GEMS). It is also part of the DWR Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail. Most of the Preserve acreage protects forested uplands that may be viewed from a wheelchair accessible boardwalk.
A small amount of very sensitive dune and shoreline habitat, along with several rare species, are also protected here but access to these is restricted. The preserve provides habitat for the federally threatened northeastern beach tiger beetle (Cicindela dorsalis dorsalis). Coast bedstraw (Galium hispidulum), an herbaceous plant, grows on the dunes at the interface between open grassy areas and shaded areas where shrubs and trees dominate. During fall migration, the forest abounds with migratory songbirds and raptors resting and feeding before continuing their journey across the Chesapeake Bay.
A long boardwalk takes visitors through several forested natural communities, including a globally-rare Maritime Dune Woodland, and ends at a low bluff overlooking the Chesapeake Bay. There is no shoreline access. Due to the sensitivity of the habitat, access to the shoreline is restricted to researchers and land managers.
The preserve is owned and managed by the Department of Conservation and Recreation.
Dot Field, Eastern Shore Regional Steward
Department of Conservation and Recreation
Division of Natural Heritage