False Cape State Park

Location of False Cape State Park in VirginiaNestled between Back Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, False Cape State Park is one of the last remaining undeveloped areas along the Atlantic coast. As the former home of Native Americans, the historic Wash Woods community and a Coast Guard life saving station, False Cape honors the hardy souls who made a living from the sea. The park offers an opportunity to experience nature in a unique, primitive setting. Be prepared for weather conditions. Bring plenty of water, sunscreen and insect repellent. False Cape features guided kayak trips, primitive camping, interpretive programs, hiking and biking trails, and six miles of pristine Atlantic Ocean beach. The park is accessible only by foot, bicycle, beach transport, tram or boat. There is no public vehicular access. Tram transportation is available April 1 through Oct. 31 through Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, where there is an entrance fee. Between Nov. 1 and March 31, access to the park is restricted to hiking or biking along the beach, by boat or by the park's beach transporter, the Terra-Gator. To make reservations for the beach transporter, call 800-933-7275.

The Back Bay Restoration Foundation operates a tram that leaves from the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge (4005 S. Sandpiper Rd. in Virginia Beach) and travels through the wildlife refuge. The trek allows visitors to explore the park for two hours in the Barbour Hill contact station area or ride farther to False Cape's Wash Woods area. This area has a church site and cemetery. The tram provides a round trip ride and is not available for overnight guests. Overnight guests must either hike or bike through the refuge, or canoe or boat in. Both day use and overnight visitors are advised to read all warnings regarding visiting the park to learn what is expected and about preparation. All visitors must follow refuge regulations while on refuge property.

Dawn to dusk. Those hiking to the park through Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge must be out of the refuge by dusk.


  • 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 then straight onto Sandbridge Road. Turn right onto Sandpiper Road to Little Island City Park. Parking fees are required from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
  • The park's latitude is 36.593813. Its longitude is -75.886521.
  • Drive Time: From Virginia Beach's oceanfront to Little Island city parking lot is about 40 minutes.

Note: Groups of 10 or more are required to obtain a special-use permit from Back Bay Wildlife Refuge two weeks in advance of trip.

The tram for False Cape operates from April 1 through Oct. 31 on a first-come, first-served basis. Call the park at 757-426-7128 for more information.

Park Size
4,321 acres. Beach Size: 5.9 miles of beachfront, extending to North Carolina line.

Contact False Cape State Park

4001 Sandpiper Rd.
Virginia Beach, Virginia  23456
Phone: 757-426-7128


Service Area

Services provided in:
  • Virginia Beach City County, Virginia

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