Fort Boykin
Isle of Wight, VA
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network

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Brief Description: Fort Boykin is an 18-acre site located five miles northeast of Smithfield, Va. It has been a part of American history since 1623 when a fort known as the Castle was constructed to protect the Jamestown colonists from Native Americans and raiding Spaniards. Atop a 30-foot bluff, the site’s commanding view makes it a keen observation point on the James River. Although rebuilt, renamed and involved in historic naval activities of the James River and Chesapeake Bay since the 17th century, Fort Boykin remains essentially intact as a well-preserved example of military architecture of the Civil War era. The story of Fort Boykin is an evolution of the connectedness of people and the Chesapeake Bay, and today it tells that story in its current state as a recreational park and historic site.
Location / Directions: Fort Boykin is located along the James River in Isle of Wight County. From Main Street in downtown Smithfield, turn left on North Church Street/Route 10 for 2 miles. Bear right on Blount’s Corner Road for 1.2 miles, and then turn right on Morgart’s Beach Road for one mile. Portions of the road are unpaved. Follow the trail blazing signs.
Physical Address: Fort Boykin
7410 Fort Boykin Trail
Isle of Wight, VA 23430
Mailing Address: Fort Boykin
103 Main Street
Smithfield, VA 23430
Phone: (757) 357-0115
Activities: The fort offers recreational amenities such as picnic shelters, restrooms, handicapped accessibility and a secluded beach area along the James River. Pets, on leashes, are allowed. The fort is also listed on the following:
  • National Register of Historic Places
  • Virginia Landmarks Register
  • Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
  • Cornell eBird System
  • Virginia Civil War Trails
  • Captain John Smith’s Trail: Lower Oyster Loop
  • Black Walnut Tree is listed on the Remarkable Trees of Virginia Project
  • Star-Spangled Banner Geotrail

Birding and Wildlife Viewing Hiking Picnicking

Operating Hours: 8 a.m. to dusk
Fees: None
Visitor Facilities: Beach access, restrooms, trails and signage
Size: 18 acres
Accessibility: The trails and restrooms are handicapped accessible.

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