Virginia CZM Program Public Access: Seaside Water Trail

Seaside Water Trail Brochure

Location of VirginiaVirginia's Eastern Shore is the narrow, 70-mile long, southern portion of the Delmarva Peninsula separating the Atlantic Ocean from the Chesapeake Bay. 

On the Seaside (Atlantic side) you will find quaint seaside villages surrounded by rich farmland, pristine salt marshes, and shallow bays abundant with marine life. 

Paddle through a coastal wilderness!

Beyond these shallow bays lie Virginia's barrier islands which are almost entirely in conservation ownership. These islands form a chain that protects the seaside's tidal creeks, bays, marshes and the mainland. Shorebirds abound as do shellfish and finfish. If you are lucky, and look closely you may see an occasional seahorse or pipefish. 

One of the best ways to experience the serene beauty of the Seaside is by canoe or kayak. Paddlers can explore areas not accessible by car or foot.


Explore the Seaside on the Virginia Seaside Water Trail!

The Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program developed the 100 mile long Virginia Seaside Water Trail as a series of day-use paddling routes.

floating dock signage

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.

Floating docks have been installed in Chincoteague at Downtown Park, at Quinby Harbor, at Wachapreague Harbor and in Willis Wharf with funding from the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program.

See article on Virginia Seaside Water Trail in the Spring/Summer 2006 Virginia Coastal Zone Management Magazine!

Start your journey on the Virginia Seaside Water Trail web site!

The Virginia Seaside Water Trail web site is a comprehensive on-line guide to the 37 routes available on the trail. It introduces canoe and kayak enthusiasts of all skill levels to extraordinary paddling opportunities.

This on-line guide provides:

Seaside Water Trail Map

paddle imageDescriptions of 12 beginner or leisurely routes, 10 intermediate routes, and 15 advanced routes.

paddle imagePrintable maps of trail routes and links to navigation charts.

paddle imageDriving directions to 20 public access launch sites.

paddle imageFacts about the amazing variety of wildlife that frequent the bays and barrier islands including shore birds, marine mammals, and sea turtles.

paddle imageConservation information and protection efforts.

paddle imageImportant safety tips and emergency contact information.

paddle imageLinks to nearby camping, lodging and local services.


Click on the map and use this on-line guide to the Virginia Seaside Water Trail and start planning your trip today!  


NOAA logo 

For comments or questions concerning this program's web pages, contact Virginia Witmer.

This website is provided by the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program through a Coastal Zone Management Act grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, US Department of Commerce.

Explore the Seaside on the Virginia Seaside Water Trail!

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000

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