Kiptopeke State Park
Cape Charles, VA
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network

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Brief Description: Kiptopeke State Park's location near the tip of the Chesapeake's Eastern Shore makes the park a prime location for bird-watching. Migrating birds congregate at this point on the Delmarva peninsula before moving on to breeding or wintering grounds.

Coastal Virginia Wildlife Observatory volunteers capture, examine, weigh, band and release resident and migratory birds in September and October of each year. Hawks, kestrels, osprey and other birds of prey are observed and banded from September through November. Kiptopeke's hawk observatory is among the top 15 nationwide.

Along with bird-watching, the park also offers guided hikes, fishing clinics, canoe programs, beach bonfire programs, waterfront activities, hayrides, and weekly birding programs in the fall.

Location / Directions: Located on the eastern shore of Virginia, this park offers recreational access to the Chesapeake Bay and the chance to explore a unique coastal habitat featuring a major flyway for migratory birds. Kiptopeke is three miles from the northern terminus of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, which has a substantial each-way toll charge, on Route 13. Turn west on Route 704; the park entrance is within a half mile.
Driving Directions
Address: Kiptopeke State Park
3540 Kiptopeke Drive
Cape Charles, VA 23310
Visitor Phone: (757) 331-2267

The concrete ships located off the park’s waterfront offer some of Virginia’s finest fishing. For the land-lover, a large fishing pier with picnic tables and lights to attract fish is available. No fishing licence is required from the pier, but a valid Virginia saltwater fishing licence is required for fishing from the shore. The southern beach is great for surf fishing and beachcombing. Motorboats are allowed and a new ramp has been completed and has 4.5-foot mean low water.

Hiking trails are available. Stroll through upland hardwood forest along Baywoods Trail and look for tracks of foxes, deer and many birds. In the fall, you can visit the Kiptopeke Bird Banding Station and watch the ongoing research. The southern beach also is perfect for a hike. The upland Baywoods Trail and southern beach are connected by extensive boardwalks so that visitors may explore Kiptopeke’s dune formation. When hiking on the southern beach, please observe signs designating the special habitat area that is closed to visitors. Bicycle trails are available along the park’s entrance road.

Bay, beach swimming: Chesapeake Bay (lifeguards). Kiptopeke’s northern beach fronts nearly half a mile on the Chesapeake Bay and features a beach and lifeguarded swimming area from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Pets are not allowed on the beach.

Birding and Wildlife Viewing Camping Educational Programs Fishing Picnicking Swimming Canoeing / Kayaking

Operating Hours: Park is open year-round with the main season lasting from Memorial Day to Labor Day
Fees: Parking/Admission: $3 Monday-Friday and $4 Saturday/Sundays/holidays
Visitor Facilities: Kiptopekes' Environmental Education Center is a perfect place to bring students to learn about the Chesapeake Bay. The park features Virginia’s State Parks: Your Backyard Classrooms program. There are picnic grounds and shelters and overnight camping.

On-line camping and over-night reservations are available through the park's website.

Size: 540 acres
Accessibility: There are two accessible campsites with water and electric.Two bathhouses are ADA compliant.Two handicapped parking spaces available at the entrance of the Bald Eagle Bluff Walkway Hawk Observatory. Picnic shelters (handicapped spaces available; also used for the observatory) Picnic shelter, bathhouse, and playground is accessible.

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