On Virginia's beautiful Eastern Shore, explored by Capt. John Smith in 1608, Kiptopeke offers recreational access to the Chesapeake Bay. It's also a great place to explore unique migratory bird habitat along the Atlantic flyway. The park has six-bedroom lodges, RV and tent camping, a yurt (part cabin-part tent), camping trailers and a bunkhouse. Guests also enjoy the park's boat ramp, lighted fishing pier, picnic areas, 5.1 miles of hiking and biking trails, playground, beach bathhouse and swimming beach. Seasonal interpretive and educational programs focus on natural history, birding and bay ecology.
Half the sites may be specifically reserved; the rest are assigned upon arrival. The sites have been renumbered.
Don't bring firewood. Firewood is for sale at the camp store, contact station and camp host site in the campground.
See the Fishing/Boat Launching section for fishing pier and boat launch fees.
Because parking is limited, campers who wish to park their trailer at the boat launch area must pay an extra fee. There's no charge for boat launching for campers who park trailers at their campsite.
Fire-ring grills at each campsite.
Firewood is for sale at the camp store, contact station and camp host site. Firewood may not be brought to the park because of the potential for infestation.
Two vehicles per site; others park in overflow area and pay parking fee.
People visiting campers allowed 8 a.m. - 10 p.m. and pay parking fee.
The full-service campground offers sites with water, electric and sewer hookups, hot showers and restrooms. There's also a tents only camp area here with no hookups.
Each site has its own picnic table and fire ring.
Pets are welcome. Pets are not allowed at the north beach swimming area and must be kept on a leash no longer than six feet at all times.
Total sites of each site type: Tent Std, 47; EWS (E/W/Sewer), 86; YURT, 1; Group, 5
Tent Std - Tents only. No hook-ups. All sites are shaded, near a bathhouse and hot water.
EWS - Electric/water and sewer sites; various equipment. RVs up to 40 ft.; accepts outlets 20, 30 and 50-amp current. Some sites are shaded.
Group - Five group campsites (G1 - G5). All sites are shaded and have no hook-ups. Available to groups of two or more sites together. No electricity or water; tents only.
Total campsites: 138
The park has more than 5 miles of hiking and bicycle trails. Explore upland hardwood forest along Baywoods Trail and look for tracks of foxes, deer and many birds. The southern beach also is perfect for a hike. The upland Baywoods Trail and southern beach are connected by extensive boardwalks so that visitors may explore Kiptopeke’s dune formation. Bicycle trails are available along the park’s entrance road and the Raptor, Songbird, Chickadee and Mockingbird trails. Bikes may be rented at the camp store.
There are two unguarded beaches on the Chesapeake Bay. Swimmers using the areas do so at their own risk. Kiptopeke’s northern swim beach is nearly half a mile long and open from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Pets, fishing, jet skis, canoes, kayaks and other boats are not allowed there. There is no additional charge for using the beaches, but swimming cannot be guaranteed should circumstances beyond the park's control require prohibiting it. The south beach is open to swimming, fishing, crabbing, boating and pets kept on a leash no longer than 6 feet.
Fishing: The concrete ships located off the park’s waterfront offer some of Virginia’s finest fishing. For the land-lover, a large fishing pier with picnic tables and lights to attract fish is available. No fishing license is required from the pier, but a valid Virginia saltwater fishing license is required for fishing from the shore. Those pier fishing who are over 16 and do not have a Virginia saltwater fishing license must, however, register for the free Virginia Fisherman Identification Program. Pier fees apply (13 and older, $5/day; children 6-12, $3/day; under 5, free). The south beach is great for beachcombing and surf fishing, but a Virginia saltwater fishing license or Maryland license with a valid Virginia FIP number is required. Launch: Motorboats are allowed. The ramp has 4.5-foot mean low water. Parking limited to 70 boat trailers. Because parking is limited, campers who wish to park their trailer at the boat launch area must pay $3. There's no charge for boat launching for camping guests who park trailers at their campsite. Kayaks must be launched from only the south beach or the park's designated kayak launch, not from the boat ramp or north swim beach. Solo kayaks, tandem kayaks and paddleboards may be rented at the camp store.
The south beach is open to swimming, pets, fishing, crabbing and boating. A valid Virginia or Maryland saltwater license is required and anglers must register with Virginia Department of Marine Resources' Fisherman Identification Program.
Kiptopeke has two shelters available for rent. Each can be rented from 8 a.m. to dusk (all day). They're available March through November. Click here for park fees. The picnic area restroom is closed Nov. 1 through April 1. Parking fees are in addition to shelter rental.
Shelter 1 - This shelter offers a grill, picnic tables and nearby restrooms. It accommodates up to 80 and has three wheelchair openings. Nine tables are 7 feet long and three others, which are universally accessible, are 16 feet long. There's also seating available outside the shelter for up to 40 additional people, but these tables cannot be rented. The shelter has electricity. A playground, drink machine, and water hydrants and several grills are nearby.
Shelter 2 - This shelter offers a grill, picnic tables and nearby restrooms. It accommodates up to 80 and has three wheelchair openings. Nine tables are 7 feet long and three others, which are universally accessible, are 16 feet long. There's also seating available outside the shelter for up to 40 additional people, but these tables cannot be rented. The shelter has electricity. A playground, drink machines and water hydrants are nearby, as are several grills.