There's a Ghost Town Hidden Inside this Virginia State Park

Travel Maven

Virginia is brimming with fun and interesting places to explore. No matter how many state parks and hikes you embark on, there's always something new to uncover within the Old Dominion.

If you're someone who loves history, abandoned places, and the great outdoors, you're going to love this creepy hike through the ruins of the historic Wash Woods community in False Cape State Park. Keep reading to learn more.

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False Cape State Park is Virginia's southernmost state park that protects a stretch of undeveloped shoreline along the Atlantic coast. The state park gets its name from the confusion that early settlers felt when mistaking this coast for Cape Henry. This turned out to be a very unfortunate mistake for sailors back in the day that would inevitably get shipwrecked in the shallow waters here.

One of the first communities established in the area was known as Wash Woods. It eventually fell to that very same destiny that those sailors experienced centuries before. Today, you can still see the remnants of this shipwrecked ghost town hidden in the woods.

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There are tons of different landscapes to explore when roaming through False Cape State Park. In addition to white sand beach dunes and a stunning ocean, there are also 15 miles of hiking trails here that will take you past some of the state's most historic sites.

The Cemetery Trail, located 4 miles south of the visitor center, will lead you to the well-known settlement that is Wash Woods. It's unclear exactly when these settlers arrived, but it is estimated to be sometime in the late 1800s. According to historians, survivors of a shipwrecked boat swam their way to shore and built a community from scratch. Because this was so unplanned, they were forced to use what they had readily available to them including cypress wood from the schooner. They went on to build a grocery store, two churches, and a school.

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If you walk through the community today, you'll also notice a small cemetery plot. The community was once home to 300 people. By the 1930s, it was completely abandoned and left to decay in the woods. Today, it serves as a fascinating trip back in time.

To learn more about False Cape State Park and the abandoned community of Wash Woods, be sure to visit their official site here.

Address: 4001 Sandpiper Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23456.

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