Open to the Public
View preserve guidelines and download a trail map. View All
Why You Should Visit
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
View Preserve Guidelines. Please note: dogs are not allowed at any Conservancy preserve.
Visit us on Facebook to see more photos of Vandell Preserve.
Open from dawn to dusk
ADA-accessible boardwalk and observation deck on the marsh remains open. There are no restrooms.
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.
Cumberland Marsh in the News
Cumberland Marsh Natural Area Preserve a Thing of Beauty (Richmond Times-Dispatch, November 3, 2016)
It felt a bit like cheating and sticking it to the man at the same time as Sam Lindblom from The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and I launched a canoe on the Pamunkey River in New Kent County last week ... read more
Download a trail map of Cumberland Marsh (pdf).
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.
For more 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.