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“Reminds me of the outer banks”

Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: This Virginia Beach wildlife refuge offers visitors hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking/canoeing and nature photography in a completely natural environment. The Refuge grounds are open sunrise to sunset daily. The Visitor Center hours of operation are the following: Memorial Day - Labor Day: Tuesday-Friday 8am-4pm, Saturday & Sunday 9am-4pm Labor Day - Memorial Day: Tuesday-Friday 8am-4pm, Saturday 9am-4pm
Reviewed 23 September 2013

I love going hiking here. It is so peaceful with some really good views of the sunrise and sunset. Beware of the snakes though you never know when one will be nearby. Rangers are very friendly and helpful. Walking along the beach and dunes you really feel like you are in the outerbanks of NC.

2  Thank Dave E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"false cape state park"
in 17 reviews
"visitor center"
in 19 reviews
"tram tour"
in 6 reviews
"bird watching"
in 6 reviews
"national park pass"
in 3 reviews
"tundra swans"
in 3 reviews
"cotton mouth"
in 3 reviews
"surf fishing"
in 3 reviews
"nice hike"
in 3 reviews
"serene place"
in 3 reviews
"annual pass"
in 3 reviews
"bring water"
in 4 reviews
"enjoy nature"
in 4 reviews
"day trip"
in 7 reviews
"walking trails"
in 4 reviews
"sand dunes"
in 4 reviews
"bring your camera"
in 3 reviews
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209 - 213 of 292 reviews

Reviewed 20 September 2013

We saw four poisonous snakes within fifteen minutes of beginning our walk on the trails. It was a cool day and I suppose the snakes had come out to warm themselves in the sun. One was in the water, one was on a canoe ramp, one was stretched out across the trail, and one was in the grass beside the trail. We had two young children with us, and we had to constantly scan the trail in front of us and remind them to stay in the center of the walkways. We understand that this is the snakes' natural habitat and that we are the interlopers, but do be careful with children there! It was a good lesson for our children, who thought snakes lived only in zoos and aquariums. We enjoyed our visit but were disappointed to find that the tram runs only on Fridays and weekends this time of year. We will try to go back next spring.

3  Thank leesvillelake
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2013

My primary purpose of going to this National Reserve was to check out some birds so I got there by 7:30am on a Saturday (which is early enough to not have to pay to enter). The place is huge, and I spent about half my time on the beach trying to figure out the different types of sandpipers; and even a quick, illegal, dip in the water because it was so peaceful and I was literally the only person on the beach I just couldn't resist. The second half of my time was walking through the trails with my binoculars and just watching the birds.

My only complaint is that the park staff close off the half of the park that has the most birds so people don't disturb them, which wasn't very conducive to me. Also, like any park on a Saturday, as the day went on it became more and more crowded so I called it quits around 12:30pm.

All in all, it's a beautiful place and I highly recommend going to all the nature lovers.

3  Thank CharlieNJ81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2013

We made a visit to Back Bay NWR during a trip to Sandbridge. We went in the morning, hoping for a comfortable hike and more active wildlife. We did see and doe and fawn (still had its spots!) just off the "dune trail"! Even if you have the opportunity to see white tail deer everyday, like we do, seeing them right next to the ocean is a "wow" moment! Many of the trails and boardwalks near the visitor center are stroller accessible, a bonus for parents. Overall, a great, quiet place to respectfully observe nature. Bring your camera!

1  Thank Kate W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 21 August 2013

Not sure what all of the other great reviews were seeing or experiencing. We drove a long distance to get to the refuge and very disappointed. Visitor center under renovations and bike paths not very scenic, in our opinion. Beach was very nice but you are not allowed to swim or set up chairs. Wanted to rave about the refuge but we unfortunately cannot.

2  Thank 1DelawareGal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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