First Landing State Park was originally named Seashore State Park
Source: US Geological Survey (USGS), Cape Henry VA 1:24,000 topographic quadrangle (1952)
First Landing State Park was initially called Seashore State Park. When Virginia was creating a system of state parks in the 1930's, it was planned as the "park by the seashore." The "park in the mountains" was named Shenandoah National Park, but the park in Princess Anne County kept the name Seashore State Park for over 60 years.1
The state acquired the majority of the park's land from the Cape Henry Association in 1933. Between 1933-1936, Civilian Conservation Corps workers, mostly African-American men, built the first camping facilities, visitor contact stations, and trails. Seashore State Park was one of the first six units opened in 1936 by Virginia State Parks.
Additional lands were added later via donations and from the Federal government's Fort Story. Today, First Landing State Park has 2,888 acres. There are 20 miles of trails, 1.5 miles of beach along the Chesapeake Bay, cabins, campsites, and the Chesapeake Bay Center with exhibits.
The park's name was changed officially in 1997 to First Landing State Park, in preparation for the commemoration of the 400th anniversary of settlement at Jamestown.2
The sand dunes at Cape Henry formed 3,000-5,000 years ago, as sea level was rising and the Chesapeake Bay was beginning to take its final shape. The oldest dunes are thought to be at the southern edge of the park.3
in the Intermediate scenario for sea level rise, by 2040 the high ground of First Landing State Park is only slightly affected
Source: Commonwealth Center for Recurrent Flooding Resiliency, Sea Level Rise Projection
in 1670, Augustine Herrman mapped Cape Henry as part of an island
Source: John Carter Brown Library, Virginia and Maryland As it is planted and Inhabited this present Year 1670 (by Augustine Herrman, 1670)