Photo by Gordon Campbell | At Altitude Gallery

Parramore and Revels Islands

Owned and managed by: The Nature Conservancy Virginia Coast Reserve.

Parramore and Revels Islands are open year-round to the public for low-impact, recreational day use, such as hiking, bird watching, surf fishing and photography. All areas above the high tide line are closed April through August. Please help protect sensitive habitats and wildlife by observing all visitation policies and seasonal restrictions.

Visiting Parramore and Revels Islands

The Seaside is a dynamic landscape with constantly shifting tides, sands and weather. Safety is a top concern when visiting this remote area with limited accessibility and services. Stay alert, come prepared and be aware of island use policies.

Open for recreational DAY use:

   Photography   Wildlife viewing   surf fishing

Prohibited at ALL times:

No camping   No campfires   No vehicles   No dogs

Seasonal restrictions (April through August):
  • CLOSED above high tide line. Remain at the water’s edge and below the high tide line at all times in all areas to avoid bird nesting habitat
  • Do not walk on or traverse upper beaches, dunes or mudflats
  • Respect posted bird nesting areas

For information about our policies, please contact the Virginia Coast Reserve office:

Suggested access points

Parramore and Revels Islands are most easily and safely accessed via the inlet beaches to the north (Wachapreague Inlet) and south (Quinby Inlet) end of the islands. A cross island trail extends across the interior of the island from the marsh to the ocean beach originating just south of the north end. Visitor use of the dock is at your own risk. The Parramore Island Coast Guard Station at the north end of the island is an education and outreach facility managed by The Nature Conservancy and is not open to the public. Please contact The Nature Conservancy for more information.

About Parramore and Revels Islands

Located just east of the coastal town of Wachapreague, Parramore and Revel’s Islands stand out among Virginia’s barrier islands as supporting an amazing diversity of coastal habitats including dense maritime forest, extensive salt marshes, brackish and freshwater marshes, and vast dunelands and open sandy beaches. As the island shifts and moves with the forces of the ocean, the forest responds and visitors can witness the impressive scene of Parramore’s ‘ghost forest’ scattered along the ocean beach. The remnants of the 1888 shipwrecked Esk also still remains on the ocean beach. Visitors can make their way through the dense interior of Parramore to the ocean beach via a well-maintained cross island trail that is also used by The Nature Conservancy and its partners for a wide variety of activities including school field trips, training workshops, and research projects. The sandy beaches, particularly at the south end of Parramore and on Revels, are very active with nesting birds and visitors should familiarize themselves with site use policies and seasonal restrictions before visiting. Parramore Island is owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy and is also designated as a Natural Area Preserve within the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s Natural Heritage Program.

Beach on Parramore Island

Photo by Gordon Campbell | At Altitude Gallery

Beach on Parramore Island

Photo by Gordon Campbell | At Altitude Gallery

Discover a Coastal Wilderness

The Atlantic coastline of Virginia’s Eastern Shore is a unique coastal wilderness that spans 70 miles from the Virginia/Maryland border to the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. The region is characterized by vast, mostly undeveloped marshes, barrier island beaches and coastal lagoons that support globally important populations of migratory birds, are the site of intensive large scale oyster reef and eelgrass restoration projects, and provide extensive recreation opportunities in remote settings. Learn more about the natural history of this amazing coastal landscape.



The Nature Conservancy Virginia Coast Reserve

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, the Conservancy creates innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world’s toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together.

The Virginia Coast Reserve (VCR) is a landscape program within the Virginia Chapter of the Conservancy that is headquartered in Nassawadox, Virginia on the Eastern Shore. VCR is made up of 14 barrier and marsh islands, extensive salt marshes and several mainland properties including the Brownsville Preserve. Programs at VCR address conservation topics on the Eastern Shore such as migratory bird conservation, marine habitat restoration, coastal resilience, land protection and outreach and education. VCR works collaboratively with federal and state partners to manage The Nature Conservancy’s properties, including the barrier islands and Brownsville Preserve, to ensure the protection of sensitive natural resources while also accommodating for low-impact visitor use.

Explore Our Seaside Partners

The seaside of Virginia’s Eastern Shore is almost entirely owned and managed by non-profit, state and federal agencies. These partners share the common goal of protecting natural resources, while balancing sustainable recreational and economic use of the seaside. Learn more about our partnership.