First Landing State Park
History comes alive at First Landing State Park where,
on April 26, 1607, three British ships, captained by John Smith,
weighed anchor near the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay before continuing north to settle at Jamestown.
At departure, the crew planted a cross and claimed the land for England,
and then named it Cape Henry in honor of the Prince of Wales.
A virtually undiscovered ecological treasure, Virginia Beach is one of the last great saltmarsh
habitats on the East Coast. Virginia Beach’s many state and federal parks offer hiking, bird-watching,
biking, canoeing and kayaking. Some of the most popular parks include:
First Landing State Park,
a 2,900-acre park that fronts the Chesapeake Bay;
,Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge
a 7,700-acre refuge of beach woodland and marsh;
False Cape State Park,
a maritime park accessible only by boat;
and, North Landing River Natural Area Preserve
owned and operated by the Nature Conservancy, and one of the largest and most significant natural area preserves in Virginia.
First Landing State Park contains more than 19 miles of interpretive hiking trails through beach, back dunes, upland forest, tidal marsh and cypress swamp.