Southeast Virginia is a region rich in history, from the earliest colonial times to today’s modern military. Cape Henry welcomes visitors today, just as it did the Virginia Company colonists in 1607, just before they settled at Jamestown. First Landing State Park commemorates where the colonists first entered Chesapeake Bay, seeking a site for settlement. One of Virginia’s oldest and most popular state parks, it offers not only a glimpse into history but also many recreational opportunities.
A hub of military bases, the Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Norfolk area South of the James River-Hampton Roads-Chesapeake Bay waterfront is encircled by wildlife refuges, state parks and seashores. Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, False Cape State Park, and Currituck National Wildlife Refuge are on the Atlantic coast along the Virginia-North Carolina border. A little further inland, Northwest River Preserve offers more wildlife habitat, on waters which feed into the Currituck Sound between the tidewater mainland and the outer banks. The Great Dismal Swamp Wildlife Refuge and State Park, straddles the state lines. An 11 mile trail for hiking, bicycling, or horseback riding follows along the remains of the Dismal Swamp Canal, which connected the Albermarle Sound in North Carolina with the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia.
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