To the Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways Park and Visitor Center
The Battle of Great Bridge, in 1775, influenced everything you see today. Location, lives and legends are all here.
A. Great Bridge Lock Park
Enjoy a boat ramp, playground, picnic shelters and the many inviting vistas. Walk the nature trail and discover the scenic Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River, a tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. While you're here, visit the Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal Observation Platform, and watch the canal's unique lock mechanism in action.
B. Albemarle & Chesapeake Canal Observation Platform
Discover how the opening of the A&C Canal, in 1859, saved time, money and lives and today serves as a gateway to Hampton Roads and the Chesapeake Bay. Thousands of commercial and pleasure craft make their way through a unique lock system into the Chesapeake Bay watershed each year on this "liquid highway."
C. Battlefield Park North(Proposed future development)
Future development of this heritage trail will allow you to witness the historic importance of this place. It was here on the morning of December 9, 1775, that British and Patriot forces faced each other across the "Great Bridge," both willing to fight to the death to hold this important supply line from southeastern North Carolina to Norfolk and beyond.
D. Battlefield Marsh View(Proposed future development)
Be sure to walk the ½-mile self-guided nature trail and be transported back in time. You might see and hear some of the same types of birds and plants the soldiers did 200 years ago and may understand why the "Great Bridge," over this formidable marshland was crucial to those who fought here on that December morning in 1775.
E. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Pivot Pier
Take some time to stand out over the canal and watch each 250-ton cantilever bridge "leaf" open and close on this 5-lane bascule bridge, under which thousands of pleasure and commercial craft pass each year.
F. Battlefield Park South(Proposed future development)
On the south end of the causeway, the colonial forces made their camp almost within gunshot of the British post to the north. To protect themselves, they engineered a breastwork . . . enjoy watching the future progress of reconstructing this great example of military engineering.
G. Great Bridge Battlefield & Waterways Visitor Center(Proposed future development)
The Visitor Center will be the spot to discover how and why this place and its people influenced the founding of America and became a commercial gateway to Hampton Roads, the Chesapeake Bay and the world.
H. Albemarle & Chesapeake Canal Trail(Proposed future development)
Stroll along the historic Albemarle and Chesapeake Canal. Dug by steam dredges called "Iron Titans," the 1859 opening of this canal was not only a technological and engineering marvel for its time, it changed the face of commerce in Hampton Roads.
A perfect blending of the past and present, the park offers a variety of venues for you to discover the history, ecology and natural beauty of this place.