The 316-acre Dameron Marsh Natural Area Preserve is one in a series of protected lands that line the western and eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay in Virginia. This preserve contains one of the most significant wetlands on the Chesapeake Bay for marsh-bird communities, and its pristine beach habitat is highly important for the federally threatened northeastern beach tiger beetle. DCR's efforts to conserve sites like Dameron Marsh are an effective means to sustain these important coastal ecosystems and both rare and common species. Dameron Marsh supports impressive salt marsh communities, sand beach, and upland forest habitats.
Most upland portions of the property were used for agricultural purposes for over three centuries. However, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, in partnership with The Nature Conservancy and the Army Corps of Engineers, has restored the former fields to forested habitats that now support a great diversity of wildlife and contribute to water quality improvement in the Chesapeake Bay. The Department's Chesapeake Bay Region Steward oversees the management and restoration activities at the preserve, monitoring marsh and shoreline habitats for birds, tiger beetles, and other natural heritage resources.
Public Access at Dameron Marsh Natural Area Preserve
Public access facilities at the preserve include a small parking area, walking trails, and a boardwalk and wildlife viewing platform overlooking the marsh and Chesapeake Bay. A designated "hand-carry" boat put-in site is also accessible via a short trail that accommodates kayaks, canoes and other small "car-top" vessels. A drop-off point and vehicle turn-around facilitates launching, with vehicles returning to the parking area. The drop-off is normally available during weekends in the summer; however, visitors can use the launch year-round if they are willing to carry their boats the additional 300 feet from the parking area to the launch site. An online Dameron Marsh NAP self-guided field trip guide is available to help you enjoy your visit.
Seasonal beach closures at Dameron Marsh and Hughlett Point natural area preserves
Dameron Marsh and Hughlett Point natural area preserves contain some of the most significant Chesapeake Bay wetlands for marsh birds, and also support pristine sandy shorelines that provide habitat for the federally threatened northeastern beach tiger beetle and nesting sites for rare shore birds. To protect these species and their significant habitats, designated sections of preserve shorelines are closed during specific periods of the year to both land (walking) and water (boat landing) access. Thank you for your help in conserving some of Virginia's rarest wildlife by observing the posted seasonal closings of designated shorelines at these two Northern Neck preserves.
From Kilmarnock, go north on VA 200 towards Burgess. Turn right onto VA 606. Turn left at the Shiloh schoolhouse onto VA 605. Turn right onto VA 606, and then left onto VA 693. Follow VA 693 into the preserve.