Eastern Shore

Virginia’s Eastern Shore is the narrow, 70-mile long, southern portion of the Delmarva Peninsula separating the Atlantic Ocean from the Chesapeake Bay. Find quaint villages surrounded by rich farmland, pristine salt marshes, and shallow bays abundant with marine life. Shellfish and fin fish – both wild and farmraised – abound, and if you are lucky, and look closely, you may see an occasional seahorse.
The barrier island system along Virginia’s Eastern Shore supports significant numbers of migratory shorebirds and is part of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve with international status as serving host to >100,000 shorebirds. Many of these species nest directly on the ground, so please avoid getting out of your kayak along the coast from April through August to protect these sensitive animals.

Explore this extensive wonderful local Shore resource for Birding on the Eastern Shore or look at this NOAA Virginia Coastal Zone Management Nesting Brochure for more information. Island ownership information can be seen on this map.

The interactive maps provided on the Virginia Water Trails website are to highlight the trail routes. They are not intended for navigational use. Please obtain NOAA navigational maps when planning your trip.


The Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program developed the 100 mile long Virginia Seaside Water Trail as a series of day-use paddling routes. The Seaside Water Trail runs between the Eastern Shore of Virginia National Wildlife Refuge at Cape Charles and Chincoteague Island. Additional trail segments go through Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and connect to Assateague National Seashore and the Assateague Canoe Trail. The Seaside Water Trail branches off at Chincoteague Island and ends at the Village of Greenbackville near the Virginia/Maryland state line.

During 2019 and 2020, a new Bayside Water Trail will be developed and added here! If you’re interested in providing input, please contact salexander@a-npdc.org.


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