Aside from the Eastern Shore and Tangier Island, Northumberland County is the most remote piece of real estate along Virginia’s Chesapeake Bay.
It’s an hour and a half from Richmond. Tidewater drivers have to cross the long and tall Robert O. Norris Bridge, spanning the Rappahannock River, to get there. It does not lend it’s self to tourism to the same level as the Outer Banks or Williamsburg. The county is nowhere near, much less off any beaten path.
Why would anyone venture to such a place? I offer you four words: Dameron Marsh and Hughlett’s Point. These two Department of Conservation and Recreation managed natural areas offer incredible views of the Chesapeake, a rich habitat for various wild birds, and plenty of room to wander, paddle, and escape from the world. And they are only four miles apart from each other.
- Sandpiper Blitz
Hughlett’s Point has a long continuous beach and about a mile of a woodland trail. There are a couple of observation points overlooking marshes. Dividing Creek flows into the bay at the south end of the shoreline.
Dameron Marsh has one observation deck. It is less hospitable to hikers during the warmer months as the small beaches are closed to foot traffic. This is to protect the endangered Tiger Beetle. But, there is a canoe and kayak launch.
Dameron and Hughlett’s Point are closed on Mondays in November through February for managed waterfowl hunting. I believe fall and winter are the best times to visit either site for the wildlife and solitude.
For more information, please visit:
Dameron and Hughlett’s Point are numbers 26 and 21 respectively on the map. Also, Northumberland is home to Bush Mill Stream Natural Area Preserve, a public beach on the Potomac River, and a seasonal ferry between Reedville and Tangier Island. www.northernneck.org
is another helpful site.