Great Bridge Lock Park
Chesapeake, VA
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network

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Brief Description: Great Bridge Lock Park sits beside the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway at the point where the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal - coming up from North Carolina - meets the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. Here is where thousands of boats make their way into the Chesapeake watershed.

The city park consists of a small peninsula surrounded by the canal on one side and the river on the other. Visitors come to watch boats pass along the canal and through a single lock, and to use a boat ramp, playground equipment, picnic shelters, and fishing and crabbing spots. Nearby the park is the site of an early Revolutionary War battle fought to defend a land route to Norfolk. While not publicly accessible at this time, the battlefield and additional canal frontage are the focus of a local conservation effort that may ultimately expand the story at Great Bridge Lock Park.

Location / Directions: Great Bridge Lock Park is located in the community of Great Bridge in the city of Chesapeake, just south of Norfolk Virginia.

From I-64 around Norfolk, take the exit for route 168 south. Proceed south to exit 13b. At the end of the exit ramp, turn left onto route 190 and proceed to the intersection with Battlefield Blvd. Turn right and drive south to Great Bridge. The entrance to the park is on the righ (Locks Road) just before the bridge crossing the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal.

Physical Address: Great Bridge Lock Park
100 Lock Road
Chesapeake, VA 23328
Mailing Address: Great Bridge Lock Park
112 Mann Drive
Chesapeake, VA 23322
Phone: (757) 382-6411
E-mail: prgeneral@mail.city.chesapeake.va.us
Activities:
  • fishing and crabbing (valid Virginia fishing license required)
  • boating - motor and other small water craft can be launched from the boat ramp
  • interpretive programs each year include:
    • Explore the Intracoastal Waterway: Each spring, summer and fall participants join a park ranger for a three-hour pontoon boat tour of the Albemarle & Chesapeake and Dismal Swamp canals. Participation is limited by boat size.
    • Great Bridge Canoe Trip: Paddlers, led by park rangers, explore the Great Bridge marsh by canoe each December in commemoration of the December 9, 1775, Battle of Great Bridge, which took place in this historic area where Colonial forces fought the British.
  • Annual events are launced from Great Bridge Lock park each year, including:
    • Battle of Great Bridge Celebration on the first Saturday and Sunday in December. The battle -- known as the "Southern Bunker Hill" -- is considered by historians to be a significant and decisive Patriot victory. It led directly to the British evacuation of Virginia and the loss of Norfolk, as a British base of military operations in the South. The weekend is filled with many interesting and educational opportunities for the entire family, ranging from battle re-enactments, Colonial fashion show, encampments, and "drilling the militia," a children's activity.
  • trails-hiking, water trails - self-guided
  • picnicking: picnic area equipped with fire grill.

Boat Access Fishing Hiking Picnicking Canoeing / Kayaking

Operating Hours: The park is open during daylight hours, year-round.
Fees: There are no fees for visiting the park.
Visitor Facilities: The park features a two-lane boat ramp, picnic shelters and a foot trail along the north shoreline and through the wooded western portion of the park. There is a large play area, provisions for indoor toilets and extensive fishing and crabbing areas. Bleachers permit spectators to view the many yachts passing through the lock.
Size: 19 acres
Accessibility: The picnic, playground and rest room areas are handicapped accessible. The boat ramp area is not accessible at this time.
Website: http://www.CityofChesapeake.net

Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network - Comments or Questions: Call: 1-800-YOUR-BAY