Open to the Public
Bird life and rare plants abound. View All
View preserve guidelines, download a trail map, and get the most out of your visit to Cumberland Marsh. View All
Why You Should Visit
PLEASE NOTE: The boardwalk at Cumberland Marsh will be closed for repair for the next few weeks. The length of the closure will depend on how favorable the weather and tides are for performing the work. Please check this page or call the Charlottesville office (434) 295-6106 for updates. (Last update Feb. 4).
Vandell Preserve at Cumberland Marsh is a mixture of freshwater tidal marsh and wooded upland. This preserve provides pristine habitat for wetlands species, migrating waterfowl, and has the world's largest population of the rare sensitive joint-vetch. An observation deck on the marsh offers views of a wide variety of bird species, including bald eagles.
Southern bank of the Pamunkey River in New Kent County
Open from dawn to dusk
The boardwalk at Cumberland Marsh will be closed for repair for the next few weeks. The length of the closure will depend on how favorable the weather and tides are for performing the work. Please check this page or call the Charlottesville office (434) 295-6106 for updates. (Last update Feb. 4)
Why the Conservancy Selected This Site
Purchased in 1993, Cumberland Marsh is an important site in the Chesapeake Rivers landscape program area. The preserve protects a pristine marsh habitat on the Pamunkey River, a major tributary of the Chesapeake Bay.
What the Conservancy Has Done/Is Doing
The Conservancy monitors the endangered sensitive joint-vetch plant. Part of the preserve consists of working farm, and the Conservancy is working with a local farmer to use best-management practices on the land. The adjacent Cumberland Hospital for Children also uses the preserve for outdoor rehabilitation programs.
What to See: Plants
World's largest population of the rare plant sensitive joint vetch occurs here.
What to See: Birds
Bald eagles, ospreys, great blue herons, and egrets; wintering populations of black ducks, wood ducks, mallards, and Canada geese.
Download a trail map of Cumberland Marsh (pdf).
For information, contact the Virginia State Office: (434) 295-6106.
- Take 1-64 east to Route 155 at New Kent/Providence Forge (exit #214).
- Go north on Route 155 to the intersection with Route 249, then turn right on 249.
- Pass through town of New Kent (look for post office on right), and continue through a short stretch of woods.
- Take first left after the post office onto Route 637 (follow the small sign for Cumberland Hospital for Children).
- A few hundred yards before the hospital, look to the left for a preserve sign.
- Turn left at sign; follow the gravel road to parking area at edge of field.