Have you ever wondered what it was like to live on a secluded barrier spit around the turn of the 20th century? At False Cape State Park, visitors can experience a taste of that life this summer on a guided tour of the Wash Woods Settlement. At its largest, the community had a population of around 300 people living at the settlement. In the 1920's and 1930's, residents began to leave the area due to weather conditions often causing the area to be inundated by the ocean water. After the settlement was dissolved, the area was mainly used by local hunt clubs until the land was acquired by the State of Virginia and turned into False Cape State Park.
The steeple is all that remains of Wash Woods' church
Visitors to the park can still see the old settlement's church steeple and graveyard. The steeple gives visitors an idea of how buildings were constructed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, while the graveyard offers visitors a more personal connection to those that once called Wash Woods home.
One of the many grave sites left behind by the residents of Wash Woods
In order for visitors to learn and experience as much of the Wash Woods settlement as possible, False Cape State Park is offering multiple guided hikes to the church and graveyard area on the "Welcome to Wash Woods History Tour."
The cost for this program is $8 for adults and $6 for children and seniors. The program leaves from the parking area of the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge at 9:00 a.m. and returns at 1:00 p.m.. The tour is a one mile round trip hike and takes place on Sundays. For more information about this program, please call (757) 426-7128. You can also visit False Cape State Park's event website by clicking here.
False Cape State Park is located adjacent to the Sandbridge section of Virginia Beach, Virginia. There is no private vehicular access to the park. Directions to Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge from Interstate 64.:
- Exit to I-264 East ( Towards the Oceanfront)
- Take Birdneck Road Exit (Exit 22)
- Turn Right onto Birdneck Road
- Travel Approximately 3-4 miles to the intersection with General Booth Boulevard
- Turn Right onto General Booth Blvd.
- Travel approximately 5 miles
- After crossing Nimmo Parkway, pay close attention to road signs.
- Get into the left hand lane so you can turn left at the next traffic light.
- Turn left onto Princess Anne Road at the light
- A 7-11 store is on the left at this corner*
- At the next traffic light, proceed straight through the light(middle lane).
- Note: When you have traveled through the light the road turns into Sandbridge Rd.
- A Bloom Grocery Store should be on your right when going through the light
- Follow Sandbridge Road until you enter the Community of Sandbridge
- Make a right turn onto Sandpiper Road just past the Fire Station
- Follow Sandpiper Road for approximately 4 miles.
- You will pass Little Island City Park on the left.
- The entrance to Back Bay NWR is at the end of Sandpiper Road