Bethel Beach Natural Area Preserve

Quick Facts

Bethel Beach Natural Area Preserve

Virginia

(804) 445-9117

Map Directions

Things To Do

 

Overview

This preserve contains sandy beach, low dune, and salt marsh habitats. Wind and water move sand creating an ever changing habitat on the narrow beach. Rare marsh and colonial nesting birds as well as the globally rare northeastern beach tiger beetle and a globally rare beach plant are protected on the property.

Map of Bethel Beach Natural Area Preserve (VA)

Latitude, Longitude: 37.437248, -76.320305

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Activities

  • Bird Watching

    Bethel Beach is an excellent bird watching destination. Rare marsh and colonial nesting birds as well as the globally rare northeastern beach tiger beetle and a globally rare beach plant are protected on the property.

    The beach is also important nesting habitat for the Least Tern (Sterna antillarum), which makes a shallow depression in the sand for its clutch of one to four eggs. This dainty gull-like bird is smaller than an American Robin and has a black cap and gray back.

Seasonality/Weather

Spring and fall are generally comfortable with precipitation possible. Summers can be hot and humid with average temperatures in the high 80s and with sudden thunderstorms possible. July and August are the hottest months.

Winters can be cold with average temperatures in the winter of 41 degrees with variable precipitation.

Directions

Driving

Bethel Beach can be reached from Route 14 in the town of Mathews by traveling east on Route 611 (Tabernacle Road) for 4.4 miles to Route 609. Turn left (north) on Route 609 and go 2.1 miles to the end of the road. Park near the concrete barricade at the beach. Part or all of the preserve may be periodically closed for resource management or protection activities. Please call before visiting.

The preserve is open year-round, but access to the southern portion of the property is seasonally restricted from May 1 through September 15 to protect the colonial nesting birds. Dogs must be leashed while on the preserve.

A preserve guide factsheet and map are available to assist in planning your visit. You will need the Adobe Acrobat reader to view and or print this factsheet.

For additional information contact Rebecca Wilson, Chesapeake Bay Region Steward, Department of Conservation and Recreation, Division of Natural Heritage, Richmond, VA (804) 445-9117.

Phone Numbers

Primary

(804) 445-9117

Links