collage: busch gardensm colonial williamsburg, virginia beachLink to: McGuire Woods: Opening Doors for Virginians with            



Regional Map

Help Open Doors


Link to norfolk airport

Facebook logo and linkBecome a fan of Accessible Virginia.


4005 Sandpiper Road, Virginia Beach, VA  23456

From General Booth Blvd. turn east on Princess Anne Road. Continue to Sandbridge and turn right on Sandpiper Rd. Follow 4 miles; the Refuge is located at the end of Sandpiper Road.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION:  Back Bay Refuge contains over 8,000 acres. Habitats include beach, dunes, woodland, farm fields, and marsh. The majority of refuge marshlands are on islands contained within the waters of Back Bay. Approximately 10,000 snow geese and a large variety of ducks visit Back Bay Refuge during the peak of fall migration, usually in December.

The refuge also provides habitat for a wide assortment of other wildlife, including threatened and endangered species such as loggerhead sea turtles, piping plovers, peregrine falcons, and bald eagles. Back Bay provides scenic trails, a visitor contact station, and, with advance scheduling, group educational opportunities. Fishing, hunting, bicycling and hiking are available.

PARKING:  4 designated accessible parking spaces, located adjacent to visitor center.  Accessible parking spaces 8 ft. wide.  Accessible aisle 2 ft. wide.  Nearby ramps well marked.  RV parking.

TYPES OF PATHS TO OR AROUND ATTRACTION:  Hard-packed stone dust in combination w/boardwalk trails.  Paths accessible to persons with mobility disabilities. 

ENTRANCE:  Located about 30 yards off main parking area.  6 exterior steps, each 8 in. high.  Handrails on right.  Ramps provided.  Doors easily opened.  1 entry door, 36 in. wide, opens out with metal grab handle outside and push bar inside located 40 in. above floor.  

PUBLIC REST ROOMS:  Located on deck area outside visitor center. 

For guests with visual disabilities, there are hands-on exhibits and  signs in large print, with contrasting background, printed on a non-glossy surface.

STAFF TRAINING:  Type of staff trained are field and supervisors.
Personnel have been trained to serve guests using wheelchairs, and guests with mobility disabilities.  2 hour workshop - including video and handouts; annual accessibility review of facilities for identification of accessbility barriers.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: An entrance fee is required to enter the refuge. Fees vary by access method (foot or vehicle). Daily, yearly and lifetime passes are available. Entrance fees are not charged November 1 through March 31. Link to entrance fees.

Pets are not permitted on the refuge at any time, with the exception of assistance dogs.

Outdoor facilities are open daily dawn to dusk. The Visitor Contact Station hours are 8:00 A.M. - 4:00 P.M. weekdays, 9:00 AM - 4:00 P.M. weekends. The Visitor Contact Station is open 8 am - 4 pm on weekdays and 9 am - 4 pm on Saturday and Sunday with the following additional closings: Closed Sun, November through March; Closed holidays except Memorial Day, July 4, and Labor Day.

Swimming, sunbathing, surfing, and other non-wildlife-dependent activities are prohibited. Wildlife-dependent activities such as hiking, nature photography, fishing, wildlife observation, and environmental education are encouraged. 

Freshwater and surf fishing are available at Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Freshwater fishing is available off the dock next to the parking lot and in D-pool. Accessible parking is provided adjacent to the D-pool dock. A valid fishing license is required for all fishing activities at Back Bay NWR.

During the summer months a hat, sunscreen and bug repellent will make your visit a success. Biting insects are plentiful during the warm, wet summer. Water is also extremely important! It is easy to become dehydrated while hiking, biking and wildlife watching through the refuge. During the winter, don't forget to dress warmly against the chill wind that often blows along the beach and Back Bay.



<<back to Virginia Beach


Home | Regions | Virginia Weather & Maps | Resources |        Outdoor Recreation | About Us | Contact Us | Accessibility Links