Seaside Walkway





If you go... 

 

  • Northampton County has established a nature preserve at the site of the landfill outside of Oyster, which features an approximately half-mile hike along a mowed trail, to a path and boardwalk through a small wooded area, terminating at an overlook platform with a gorgeous view of the barrier islands and seaside lagoons.
  • Parking for the trail is located on the east side of Seaside Road, .2 miles south of the intersection with Cobb Station Road, or .3 miles north from the landfill truck entrance on Seaside Road. 
  • For larger groups school bus parking or parking closer to the boardwalk for accessibility are available by prior arrangement.




The overlook at the Seaside Walkway is a serene place to connect with Nature. A deer came out of the woodland marsh and bobbed up the shoreline while we watched quietly. Zoom in to see the deer more clearly . 





Stay on Path
A wide grass path leads through meadows and into the woods where the trail picks up on a broad boardwalk that ends at the Seaside Overlook. 

It's interesting to take a look at  the history of the Northampton Preserve (Seaside Park)  which was conceived in 2003.   A great overview of the conception of the Seaside Park was written by Pat Smith for the Virginia Coastal Management magazine Summer/Falll 2003 issue titled, Seaside Program Highlight: Increasing Public Access - Seaside Park is a Rare  Opportunity in Northampton  which can be found on page 11.  (See below for the entire article)

Trails were created but not well maintained. Over the years the walkway deteriorated and was too dangerous to use. The idea of the Seaside Park was revitalized by local birding enthusiasts who saw a great opportunity to re-establish the Northampton Preserve. With the help of many agencies pitching in to help the Seaside Walkway/ Northampton Preserve is open for visitors to explore and will be maintained by the Master Naturalists of the Eastern Shore. 


 

Partners for the Project Nesting and Habitat Signage
Signage provides information about the kinds of animals you may encounter and a map of Brockenberry Bay. 

One such group that has been instrumental in restoring the walkway is Birding Eastern Shore and it's partner agency, Eastern Shore Birding and Wildlife Programs, Inc. which "provides and promotes educational programs and events to enhance the appreciation and conservation of birds, wildlife and the natural environment of the Eastern Shore of Virginia." 

Member Martina Coker addressed the Northampton County Board of Supervisors on July 13, 2020 to update them on the newly completed project. 

Presentation to the Board of Supervisors given by Martina Coker on July 13, 2020 about the newly renovated Seaside Walkway.  



Ramp to Seaside overlook

Funded by


 

Virginia Coastal Management Summer/Fall 2003
Seaside Program Highlight:
Increasing Public Access - Seaside Park is a Rare Opportunity in Northampton by Pat Smith

 

Northampton County is converting a seaside landfill to a new park. Already popular with bird watchers, the county is working with the Virginia Coastal Program’s Seaside Heritage Program, government, and other groups to create a park with room for not only natural habitat, but also play space and renewable energy resource projects. It is located on waterfront property off Seaside Road north of Oyster, Virginia.

Seaside Park offers a rare opportunity. The County plans to open a regional-scale park on land once reserved for landfill expansion. This property includes access to coastal waters along Brockenberry Bay, a coastal climax forest, a large freshwater pond, open fields, and an overlook to uninhabited Barrier Islands offshore.

In a broader context, this waterfront park and trails will be an important link in the Seaside Heritage Program’s Water Trail.

Over 200 acres were purchased to use as a landfill in the 1970’s. After using about 40 acres for landfill activities, the county resolved to close its landfill, restore the property, and return the land to the people and visitors of Northampton County for ecotourism and recreation. "We have the opportunity to turn a detriment into an asset to enjoy," commented County Administrator Lance Metzler. The county is working with the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Army Corps of Engineers to assure the site restoration is adequate for safe reuse.

The Seaside Park mixes access to nature with the community’s need for group recreation and exercise. About 45 acres of climax forest, now rare on the East Coast of the US, provide haven to migrating birds traveling through the Delmarva Peninsula, natural buffer for shallow seaside waters, and inviting woods for nature lovers. An onsite freshwater lake of about 15-20 acres when full is a magnet for waterfowl and wildlife amid saltwater surroundings. The mixed habitat setting of Seaside Park is prime migratory bird habitat, rounded out with plentiful open fields and saltwater marsh.

The county has plans for trails around the lake, up on top of the closed landfill overlooking the Barrier Islands, and through the woods to the marsh The Coastal Program is funding construction of the first nature trail, through the woods to the marsh. Plans are to make the trail wheelchair & stroller friendly, and provide some protection from ticks and snakes for casual birdwatchers, walkers, sightseers, and classes, by providing a boardwalk. High use, core facilities will be centrally located, distant from the sensitive coastal buffer.

The property extends from the Seaside Road Scenic Byway (VA 600) on the west, to the marshes and protected bays behind the Barrier Islands of the Atlantic seaboard to the east. The Norfolk-Virginia Beach area is within a 40-minute drive of the park. From there, take highway 13 across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge tunnel to the Eastern Shore, turn right at highway 636 after Cheriton, right onto Seaside Road and look for the high ground on the left. From the North, take highway 13 south past Eastville, and turn left on highway 636, following the rest of the northbound directions. The park should be open by 2005. 

Source: Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program

Virginia Coastal Management Summer/Fall 2003
Seaside Program Highlight:
Increasing Public Access - Seaside Park is a Rare Opportunity in Northampton by Pat Smith
 (PDF)

 




 
Seaside Park conceptualization

A 2003 conceptualization of Seaside Park or the Northampton Preserve/ Seaside Walkway.