Large City in Area, Small Population
In 1963 when we were living in Norfolk, the large incorporated area between Virginia Beach and Portsmouth and the North Carolina line was incorporated as the 'city' of Chesapeake. It is one of the largest cities in area in the USA.
Chesapeake Museum and Information Center
Located in the historic “Portlock” section of the city in the renovated Portlock Elementary School built in 1908. Exhibits and demonstrations highlight the rich and varied cultural history of the region. (757) 494-0577. 3815 Bainbridge Blvd.
Explore the wonders of the universe. Free public programs including telescope observations are offered each week. Reservations (757) 547-0153. 24-hour information (757) 547-STAR (7827). At the Chesapeake Municipal Center, 310 Shea Drive.
Return to nature at this 48-acre “natural classroom” dedicated to promoting horticulture and environmental awareness. One of Virginia’s finest trail systems meanders through a mature hardwood forest with many varieties of native plants and trees. The Arboretum headquarters is an eighteenth century farmhouse with theme gardens that include a fragrance and antique rose garden. The farmhouse was built in 1730 with an addition built in 1822. (757) 382-7060. 624 Oak Grove Road.
Spread over three acres of Chesapeake City Park, Fun Forest is the ultimate children’s playground, imagination center and family adventure area. It was built by over 1,800 volunteers from the community. Fun Forest was the winner of the Virginia Recreation and Parks Society “Best New Facility in Virginia” award in 1996. The playground has an area for older children that features a dragon, three-way underground telephone, shaky bridge, dolphin tunnel slide, and many more challenges. The science and learning area teaches mathematics and science while children have fun playing with mirrors, whisper dishes, and a planet walk. The toddler playground invites little ones to steer a plane or truck, swing, slide and more. Fun Forest is truly a place for the entire family. (757) 382-6411. 500 Greenbrier Road.
Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge is my page on this refuge
This natural preserve began in 1973 when Union Camp Corporation donated 49,100 acres of land to the Nature Conservancy. About half of this 107,000 acre federal park is in Chesapeake with the remainder in neighboring Suffolk. These forested wetlands are home to many species of plants and animals. The 31,000 acre Lake Drummond is in the heart of this refuge. Canoe rentals are available on Route 17 at Chesapeake Campground (747) 485-0149. Call (757) 986-3705 for more information. 3100 Dessert Road, Suffolk, VA.
Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway
Thousands of boats ply the Intracoastal Waterway passing through the Dismal Swamp Canal and the Albemarle Chesapeake Canal annually. The waterway links the Chesapeake Bay to North Carolina’s sounds providing a vital East Coast connection between Boston and Key West, Florida. Whether you are sailing or watching from the shore, you’ll enjoy the sights along this historic waterway. Parks at Deep Creek and Great Bridge provide excellent observation points.
My page is at Deep Creek Lock Park
The park is named for the Corps of Engineers’ lock that separates the salt water of Deep Creek from the fresh water of the historic Dismal Swamp Canal. Deep Creek Lock Park is heavily wooded with a pedestrian bridge and elevated walkway system to traverse a tidal inlet and marsh area. Other features include foot trails that wind through the woods. (757) 6411, 300 Luray Street.
Great Bridge Lock Park
Located along the Intracoastal Waterway just off Battlefield Blvd. this park has bleachers to permit spectators to view the many yachts that transit the lock. There is also a playground and a boat ramp. (757) 382-6411, S. Battlefield Blvd.
Bergey’s Dairy Farm
Enjoy homemade ice cream from this working dairy farm founded by Titus Bergey in 1931. Visitors can purchase items produced on the farm including fresh milk in glass bottles, ice cream, and butter. Bergey’s also offers horse-drawn carriage rides and special tours by appointment. (757) 482-4711. 2221 Mount Pleasant Road
Northwest River Park
was developed as a natural recreation area incorporating camping, an extensive trail system, picnic shelters, play areas and an equestrian area for horse owners. There is fishing, miniature golf, the Marjorie Rein Memorial Walkway, and plenty of open areas. Rental boats, canoes, and fishing poles are available. A camp store, fragrance garden for the visually impaired and a classroom building are located at the north end. The lake stretches almost to the southern activity area on the banks of the Northwest River. (757) 382-6411. 1733 Indian Creek Road.
Camping - The campground is open April 1 through December 1. Seventy sites for family camping and four group sites for organizations. Fees: $15/night; more than 6 people, $2/ each additional person ($4 extra/ night for electric hook-up.) Facilities include hot showers, laundry, a dump station, and fresh water. Maximum 10 people/ site.
Boating - Paddle along our inland lake or venture onto the scenic Northwest River. Canoes-$5/ hour or $25/ day; jon-boats-$3/ hour or $15/ day; and paddleboats - $4 / -hour. An adult, age 18 or older, must be on each boat. No pets allowed in boat
Horseback Riding - is available to horse owners in the Park's equestrian area and horse trails. Join the Equestrian Club for $10 /person or $20 /family and ride year-round.
Fishing - Fish our stocked lake for bass, blue gill, crappie catfish and trout. A Virginia fresh-water license is required for anyone 16 years and older to fish. The Park does not sell fishing licenses.
Ropes & Initiatives Course - Groups of 8-10 can spend a day of growth and outdoor fun learning about themselves and others. Ideal for work groups, families/friends, youth groups, and scouts. The Ropes course operates daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. All equipment and certified instructors are provided. Participants need only dress for the weather and bring their lunch and beverages. Call the Park for more information about renting the course for your group.
Virginia Birding & Wildlife Trail Birding Trail Chesapeake Loop
The sites in the South Chesapeake Loop offer a sample of habitats at the interface of pinewoods and the swampy bottom lands lining several rivers that drain the southeastern corner of the state. Visitors may encounter birds ranging from nuthatches flitting through the pines, to prothonotary warblers nesting in hollow swamp trees, to stealthy great blue herons hunting in the shallows. The City of Chesapeake is a starting point for this loop, which circles southward toward the North Carolina border and returns just south of the city.
PUBLIC BOAT LAUNCHES
Deep Creek Lock Park
300 Luray Street, Chesapeake, VA 23323-3028
Great Bridge Locks Park
S.Battlefield Blvd., Chesapeake, VA 23322
Elizabeth River Boat Landing
¼ Mile West of the Poindexter Street Exit #4 off I-464
Route 17 Boat Ramp
US 17 just north of Ballahack Road. Boat access to Dismal Swamp Canal.
If golf is your game, then you’ve come to the right place. Chesapeake features two daily fee golf courses that challenge golfers of all levels.
Chesapeake Golf Club
The Chesapeake Golf Club is in a beautiful woodland setting. This 6,278-yard premium public golf course features rolling fairways, challenging doglegs, and some of the best greens in the Tidewater area. (757) 547-1122. 1201 Club House Drive.
“The Isles Golf Links”
at Cahoon Plantation was inspired by the great links style courses of the British Isles. Enjoy the smoothest, greenest playing surface available on the only bent grass golf course from tee to fairway to green in the Williamsburg, Virginia Beach and Outer Banks of North Carolina corridor. (757) 436-2775. 1501 Cedar Road.