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False Cape State Park

About Teddy Bear Ratings4001 Sandpiper Road
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
Phone: (757) 426-7128
email: falsecape.

False Cape State Park is a state park in the independent city of Virginia Beach, Virginia. It is a mile-wide barrier spit between Back Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The park adjoins the state border with North Carolina. At the south end of the park is a monument with "Va." on one side and "N Ca" on the other. Although it says "A.D. 1728" on top, it was probably put up in 1887 when the boundary was surveyed.

LOCATION: From Interstate 64, exit on to Indian River Road East. Go 13 miles, then turn left onto Newbridge Road, then right onto Sandbridge Road. Next, turn right onto Sandpiper Road to Little Island City Park. Parking fees required Memorial Day to Labor Day. Day use only parking also is available at Back Bay Wildlife Refuge.

From First Landing State Park and oceanfront, turn east onto Shore Drive (Route 60); follow Pacific Avenue to General Booth Boulevard, then left on Princess Anne Road and left onto Sandbridge Road. Turn right onto Sandpiper Road to Little Island City Park. Parking fees required Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Drive Time : From Virginia Beach's oceanfront to Little Island city parking lot is about 40 minutes.

Access is through the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and is limited to hiking, bicycling or boating. The park features primitive camping and an extensive environmental education program in one of the last undisturbed coastal environments on the East Coast.

The area got its name because, from the ocean, its landmass resembled Cape Henry. This false impression of Cape Henry (at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay about 20 miles (30 km) to the north lured ships and boats into the treacherous shallow waters, where they often ran aground.

According to popular legend, the now lost community of Wash Woods was developed by survivors of such a shipwreck in the 16th or early 17th century. The village�s church and other structures were built using cypress wood that washed ashore from a wreck. In the early 20th century, False Cape was a haven for a number of prestigious hunt clubs, which took advantage of the area's abundant waterfowl. The park's Wash Woods Environmental Education Center is a converted hunt clubhouse.

In 2004, a story in The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk) newspaper about the poor conditions of a trash dump area in the park garnered public attention and remedial action by state officials. In a follow up story of May 3, 2005, the newspaper reported "a stunning turnaround for a situation that had lingered for years." The story reported that park employees, volunteers and private firms from the region had joined in a massive cleanup project in the remote area which is virtually inaccessible by vehicles. [1]

PICNIC SHELTERS: Two tables, near contact station at Barbour Hill.

HISTORY: In the 1800s, False Cape gained a reputation as a shipping graveyard. The area got its name because its land mass resembled Cape Henry, luring boats into shallow waters. One of the area's first communities, Wash Woods, was developed by survivors of such a shipwreck. The village's church and other structures were built using cypress wood that washed ashore from the wreck. From the turn of the century until the 1960s, False Cape was a haven for a number of prestigious hunt clubs, which took advantage of the area's abundant waterfowl. The park's Wash Woods Environmental Education Center is a converted hunt clubhouse. A 1966 study of Virginia's outdoor recreation resources recommended that a substantial ocean beachfront be made available for public use on the Atlantic Ocean south of Virginia Beach. The development of the park began with the purchase of approximately 4,300 acres of land.

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