A visit to Jamestown Island should include a drive among the marshes and dense woods reminiscent of what colonists would have seen 400 years ago.

The paved three-mile loop and the paved five-mile loop are accessible to cars, bicycles, and pedestrians. Wildlife is abundant along the drive, including migratory birds and bald eagles, who live on the island year-round. At Black Point on the island’s eastern tip, take time to park and walk the footpath to the James River for an incredible panoramic view.

Many other stops on the island drive feature historical markers and scenic views. Several Civil War fortifications can still be found in the forests along the road. On the eve of the Civil War the entire island was under the ownership of William Allen, and he had his slaves fortified Jamestown to control traffic on the James River.