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Kiptopeke State Park--Explore Life on the Eastern Shore!

Park of the Month: Kiptopeke State Park

Things to Do 

Located just a few miles north of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel on Virginia's Eastern Shore, Kiptopeke State Park is a great headquarters for an eastern shore adventure. Exploring the eastern shore is an adventure in, and of, itself.

Kiptopeke State Park's six-bedroom lodges are perfect for extended family vacations and reunions.

The six-bedroom lodges are perfect for extended-family trips or family reunions.

With activities to appeal to everyone in the family--from agricultural outings to antiquing and from wild horse watching to bird watching--the Eastern Shore is a great place for a family vacation!

With a full-service campground, six-bedroom lodges, tent camping area, and a yurt (part cabin/part tent), Kiptopeke State Park has a lot of choices for overnight accommodations to fit any budget. If you're staying for the day, a long weekend, or a whole week, there is plenty to do and see in, and around, the park.

The yurt is part tent/part cabin and a truly unique place to stay.

The yurt is part tent/part cabin and is a truly unique place to stay.

It's for the Birds

Whether you're a novice birder or someone trying to check an elusive species off your life list, the Eastern Shore is a birder's paradise.  Nestled along the Atlantic Migratory Flyway, spring and fall migrations mean flocks and flocks of birds passing through. Kiptopeke State Park has four miles of hiking trails, several overlooks, and two photo blinds that are perfect for birding. 

The south beach is a great place to get great photos of waterbirds.

The south beach is a great place to get photos of water birds like this pelican.

The Eastern Shore National Wildlife Refuge located just across Route 13 from Kiptopeke State Park also has incredible trails, marshlands, and shoreline that are great for birding.

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries also has the Eastern Shore Loop of the Birding and Wildlife Trail mapped out with a variety of waypoints for great birding adventures.

Mark your calendar for the October 10-12, 2014 Eastern Shore Birding and Wildlife Festival!

The Simple Life

Farming, family and friends seem to the central tenet of bygone eras on the Eastern Shore. 

You can get a glimpse of what life was like in colonial, civil war times, and during World War II by visiting the Barrier Island Center and the Cape Charles Museum.  Both locations boast an incredible array of displays and photographs from years past.

This old farmhouse located in the park was probably used to store produce or tobacco.

This old farm building located in Kiptopeke State Park was probably used to store produce or tobacco.

Up and down Route 13, you'll find roadside produce stands and "pick-your-own" farms so you can stock up on some fresh veggies, fruit, and seafood for a grand feast over your campfire.

 Be sure the check out the four large signs on the beach bathhouse at Kiptopeke State Park.  These four signs talk about the life and history of the Eastern Shore and the park.  It is a great way to get a feel for what Eastern Shore life was like at the turn of the century.

Horsin' Around

One of the biggest draws to the Eastern Shore is a visit to the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.  Located about 60 miles north of Kiptopeke State Park, Chincoteague is the place to see the wild ponies made famous by the children's book, Misty.

While horseback riding is not permitted at Kiptopeke State Park, you can check out the Trail Ride Cape Charles website that features information about Pfeiffer Stables and their guided horseback riding tours. 

 The annual Chincoteague pony auction is the last Thursday in July.

Hook, Line & Sinker

Kiptopeke State Park is well-known for its 24-hour lighted fishing pier.  Night fishing is great fun for kids and adults of all ages. 

The pier is licensed, but be sure to follow the guidelines for getting a free Fisherman ID number by phone or online.

This serious fisherman shows off his catch to his friends.

This serious fisherman shows off his catch to his very impressed friends.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel also features the Seagull Fishing Pier that juts out into the Chesapeake Bay.  This fishing pier features an official weigh station for the serious fisherman hoping to break some records!

In the summer, the park hosts some great fishing and beach programs including seaside crafts, knot-tying programs, kid's fishing events, and more.  Programs are being added throughout the year so check back here often.

The park's camp store sells basic fishing gear and bait.  If you need a whole new rig, check out Chris' Bait and Tackle located just a few miles north on Route 13.


Yes!  There really are flying fish!  Kid's love to catch these sea-robins.

Yes. There really are flying fish! Kids love to catch these sea-robins off the pier at Kiptopeke State Park.


Kiptopeke State Park has great ranger-guided kayak programs and kayak rentals in the summer season. Sometimes, special kayak fishing programs led by Kayak Kevin, a renowned local kayak fisherman, are available for reservation.  The park has a motor boat launch and kayak launch if you bring your own watercraft.

 Kayak Kevin often offers guided programs from Kiptopeke State Park.

The north side beach is set aside for sunbathing and beach play.  Ranger-led seining and seashell craft programs are fun for kids of all ages. 

The shallow surf and gentle wave action make Kiptopeke's beach great for preschoolers who enjoy splashing at the water's edge.

 Ranger-led seining program using large nets lets you see marine life up close.

Ranger-led seining programs let you see marine life up close.

Using the park as headquarters for your Eastern Shore adventure is a great idea!  Make your campsite home base and take day trips to different places around the Eastern Shore, but don't forget to explore the park and participate in ranger-led programs, too.

Pack your gear--don't forget the camera and binoculars--and head across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel for a fun Kiptopeke State Park and Eastern Shore adventure. 

Make Kiptopeke State Park your adventure headquarters while you explore all there is to do in the region. Call 1-800-933-PARK to make your campground or cabin reservation now! 

Published: 03/27/2014

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