loading spinner
Virginia

Bicycling the Eastern Shore of Virginia

Program No. 18032RJ
The Eastern Shore of Virginia boasts pristine landscapes, unique wildlife and historic monuments. Come discover this and more as you cycle paved trails and national parks with experts.
Length
4 days
Rating (5)
Activity Level
Starts at
849

Your well-being is our #1 priority

To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

Enroll with Confidence

We want your Road Scholar learning adventure to be something to look forward to—not worry about. Learn more

Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
climate
Plan ahead.
What kind of weather can you expect? Take a look!
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.

DATES & PRICES

Bike Not Included Bike Included
Accommodation Details

Bring your own bicycle.

Accommodation Details

A bicycle will be provided.

Mar 28 - Mar 31, 2023
Bike Not Included 849
Bike Included 929
Apr 11 - Apr 14, 2023
Bike Not Included 849
Bike Included 929
May 9 - May 12, 2023
SOLD OUT
Bike Not Included 849
Bike Included 929
Sep 12 - Sep 15, 2023
SOLD OUT
Bike Not Included 849
Bike Included 929
Sep 26 - Sep 29, 2023
SOLD OUT
Bike Not Included 849
Bike Included 929
Oct 10 - Oct 13, 2023
Bike Not Included 849
Bike Included 929
Oct 31 - Nov 3, 2023
Bike Not Included 849
Bike Included 929

DATES & PRICES

Bike Not Included Bike Included
Accommodation Details

Bring your own bicycle.

Accommodation Details

A bicycle will be provided.

Mar 28 - Mar 31, 2023
Bike Not Included 949
Bike Included 1,029
Apr 11 - Apr 14, 2023
Bike Not Included 949
Bike Included 1,029
May 9 - May 12, 2023
SOLD OUT
Bike Not Included 949
Bike Included 1,029
Sep 12 - Sep 15, 2023
SOLD OUT
Bike Not Included 949
Bike Included 1,029
Sep 26 - Sep 29, 2023
SOLD OUT
Bike Not Included 949
Bike Included 1,029
Oct 10 - Oct 13, 2023
SOLD OUT
Bike Not Included 949
Bike Included 1,029
Oct 31 - Nov 3, 2023
Bike Not Included 949
Bike Included 1,029

At a Glance

Explore Virginia’s gorgeous Eastern Shore by bike with a small group of like-minded adventurers for a scenic learning journey with Chincoteague Bay Field Station. Ride the biking trails of Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and Assateague National Seashore, travel across the Eastern Shore Peninsula from the Atlantic Ocean to the Chesapeake Bay and look for wild ponies, egrets and horseshoe crabs.
Activity Level
Outdoor: Spirited
Novice to intermediate cyclists! Cycling 11-27 miles daily (up to 6 hours/day) on flat paved or hard gravel terrain with frequent stops. Primarily biking on roads with some bike paths/lanes. Walking one mile on uneven terrain, standing for up to an hour and climbing stairs. Participants encouraged to bring own bike. Limited rentals available.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Ride Chincoteague’s well-kept paths and learn about the area’s Saltwater Cowboys and Wild Ponies.
  • Visit Ker Place, a 200-year-old home built in the Federal style.
  • Pedal to the Wallops Island Navy and NASA facility to learn about dune ecology at a deserted and pristine beach restricted to the public.

General Notes

The Retreat Difference: This unique, often basic and no-frills experience at a Road Scholar Retreat includes opportunities for early morning exercise, interaction with the local community for insight into local life, an authentic farm-to-table or locally sourced meal, a live performance or event, and a value-priced single room. Due to the nature of this program, listening devices are not available. ATTENTION FOREIGN NATIONALS: Part of this program takes place on Wallops Island, which is a restricted access NASA base. In order to participate in the Wallops Island activities, all foreign nationals must complete additional paperwork at least 6 weeks in advance to be allowed access onto the base. Access is then subject to approval by NASA Wallops Island base. If you are a foreign national enrolled in this program, please contact the program provider directly at julie@cbfieldstation.org to request the required forms.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
True Tales of the Eastern Shore
by Kirk Mariner
A Field Guide to the Atlantic Seashore: From the Bay of Fundy to Cape Hatteras
by Kenneth L. Gosner
More than 1,000 illustrations, arranged according to visual similarities, show plant and animal species of the Atlantic Coast from the Bay of Fundy to Cape Hatteras. This guide includes information on how to locate each species by geographic range, tidal range, tidal level, season, topography, and climate.
Beautiful Swimmers: Watermen, Crabs and the Chesapeake Bay
by William W. Warner
William Warner exhibits his skill as a naturalist and as a writer in this Pulitzer Prize-winning study of the pugnacious Atlantic blue crab and of its Chesapeake Bay territory. This wonderful work contains all you ever wanted to know about the life cycle of one particular kind of crab that lives in Chesapeake Bay (the kind you probably smashed with mallets if you ever went to that area). Surprisingly, for most of its life, the Atlantic blue crab has nothing to do with beer. Taking it for a focus, Warner draws connections with the sea, the rivers, the crab-friendly environment that produced such a wealth of the creatures, and then the people who live from that wealth, the islanders who lived isolated for centuries, but are now firmly within the web of modern life. Warner tells of the marketing of crabs, the catching of other Chesapeake products like oysters, and even of festivals like a Miss Crustacean contest ! You can learn about esoterica like crab pots, the Waterman's Union, the religious heritage of crabbers, and lots more.
Once upon an island: The history of Chincoteague
by Kirk Mariner
This book is not just another collection of essays and sepia pictures about a local landmark or town. Kirk Mariner's review is a thoughtful and thorough history of a small island community - as thorough as one can be when natural history and the lack of written records affect the narrative as often as it does Chincoteague.
Wallops Island (Images of America: Virginia) (Paperback)
by Nan Devincent Hayes and Bowen Bennett
Located in Accomack County on Virginiaís Eastern Shore, Wallops Island was once a primitive swath of land, uncivilized but by the wild ponies and mosquitoes that made its scrub-covered shores their home. But as the centuries passed, the wildness of the island was radically altered by the influx of colonists, then vacationers, and, eventually, some of the brightest scientific minds in the country. ÝÝThe history of Wallops Island has been one of transition. In the colonial period, John Wallop, an industrious man and self-made millionaire, was granted much of the islandís acreage by the English Crown for providing assistance to new colonists trying to reach Virginia. In 1889, Wallops Island was bought and converted into a vacation destination for a handful of wealthy families from Pennsylvania, who, in turn, sold the island to the federal government in the 1940s. Once in the hands of NASA the island was transformed into a center for the high-tech development of rockets, missiles, and the means for space travel. From weather balloons and Tiamat missiles to aerodynamics and hurricane research, the Wallops Island Flight Facility and its predecessors have been instrumental in the evolution and success of the American space program.
Off 13: The Eastern Shore of Virginia Guidebook
by Kirk Mariner
Kirk Mariner's book "Off 13 - The Eastern Shore of Virginia Guidebook" offers a highly informative and entertaining guide to an overlooked but tranquil peninsula bounded by the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean, not far from the Nation's Capital. Many people know of Chincoteague but may not be aware that the rest of the Virginia eastern shore is well worth exploring. "Off 13" is full of interesting anecdotes and historical information about the area and its many little towns as well as useful and practical information for travellers.
Eastern Shore Railroad (VA)
by Chris Dickon
In the 1880s, New York railroad magnate Alexander Cassatt looked at a map of America's East Coast and decided that he could overcome a challenge of geography if he thought of a new railroad in a non-traditional way. North and South were now trading with each other postwar, and the two most prominent coastal cities of those regions, New York and Norfolk, were less than 500 miles apart except for one very large problem: at the end of a straight route down the Eastern Shore of Virginia lay the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, with more than 20 miles of open water to the rail yards of Norfolk. Thus Cassatt created the New York, Philadelphia, & Norfolk Railroad, which ran overland from Philadelphia to Cape Charles, Virginia; at Cape Charles, the railroad became waterborne on barges and passenger ferries that traveled the rough waters at the mouth of the bay. Now known as the Eastern Shore Railroad, since 1884, the operation has followed a path through history that has been no less dramatic than the rise and fall and curves in the rightof-way of American railroading during that time.
Cycling Past 50 (Ageless Athlete Series)
by Joe Friel
Conventional wisdom says that middle-aged cyclists should slow down and expect to achieve less as they grow older. But in Cycling Past 50, author Joe Friel shows cyclists that with proper training and the right attitude, the years after 50 can be their best ever. Written for cyclists of all types-road riders, mountain bikers, track racers-this book provides an in-depth look at the full range of considerations for cycling successfully into and through middle age. Joe Friel, a writer and contributing editor to several top cycling publications and a dedicated rider himself, will inspire cyclists toward better performance and more biking enjoyment as he presents: basic principles of training; advanced workouts to improve endurance, climbing ability, and sprinting; training advice for 100-mile events and multi-day tours; planning tips and a workout program for getting into racing form; injury prevention tips and exercises; and body fueling advice. In addition to explaining the physical adjustments seasoned cyclists can make to keep their biking effective and satisfying, Friel discusses the mental aspects of cycling successfully into middle age. He explains the importance of developing a positive attitude, maintaining a high level of motivation, and taking pride in their accomplishments. He also reminds cyclists that, above all, biking should be a fun activity that should be shared with fellow riders, family, and friends.
Every Woman's Guide to Cycling: Everything You Need to Know, From Buying Your First Bike toWinning Your First Race (Paperback)
by Selene Yeager
More women than ever before are jumping on their saddles to enjoy one of the fastest growing sports in the country-and to improve cardiovascular fitness, control their weight, and liven up their social lives. At the same time, cycling remains very much a "man's sport," an intimidating world that can be difficult for women to navigate. Now celebrity spokeswoman Selene Yeager covers all the basics-for all ages and fitness levels. Women will learn... - How to find the perfect bike and other essential equipment - How to shift, spin, climb mountains, and get back down - Training techniques that take it up a notch - What to eat off-and on-a bike - Competition craziness-race information and strategies - Why guys who work in bike shops act the way they do - And more!
Chincoteague Revisited: A Sojourn to the Chincoteague and Assateague Islands (Hardcover)
by Dorothy Camagna and Jennifer Cording
Through Dorothy Camagna’s artful photography and Jennifer Cording’s essays, Chincoteague Revisited captures the essence of the community, ecology and the natural landscape of this unique place off Virginia’s coast. The first essay, "Community", welcomes readers to island life and to the islanders themselves—an uncommon culture of people who share a common bond. Local watermen, decoy carvers and shop owners ply their trade; visitors from everywhere transform the community in the spring; simple, whitewashed houses line Main Street, and the Channel Bass Inn bed and breakfast invites afternoon callers to tea. Townspeople and visitors enjoy the traditional Christmas parade and the tastes of the annual oyster festival. Chincoteague Island comes to life in poetry and pictures. The next essay, "Refuge", centers on the mystery and beauty of the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge—its seashore, marshlands, maritime forests and wildlife. Through Camagna’s expert eye and Cording’s sensitive language, the sun sets on the loblolly pine, and the great egret takes its majestic flight towards Chincoteague Bay. The most famous inhabitants of Assateague Island, the wild ponies, also call the refuge home. Each July, local cowboys herd the ponies for their swim across the channel to Chincoteague’s shore, where the foals are auctioned at the annual Firemen’s Carnival. And finally, the essay titled "Transitions" focuses on the ecological and seasonal changes of Chincoteague and Assateague Islands. "It is a delicate balance," writes Cording of the fragile combination of a beautiful natural landscape and thousands of human visitors who descend on the island each season. Chincoteague Revisited is a rare collection of over one hundred full color photographs with accompanying essays—from aerial shots of the coastline and barrier islands, to intimate portraits of the water, land and people that make Chincoteague Island a destination to be visited, revisited and remembered.
Voices of the Chincoteague: Memories of Greenbackville and Franklin City (VA)
by Martha A. Burns and Linda S. Hartsock
Beginning around the turn of the 20th century, people flocked to boom towns like Greenbackville and Franklin City on Virginia's remote Chincoteague Bay to cash in on the lucrative oyster trade. Most eventually settled for simple rural lives, living a cash and barter economy, commuting on foot or by boat, always closely tied to the tide and water. From mystery in the marsh to jealous lovers, these accounts of life on the Bay are filled with work boats, crab pots, and saltwater. About the Author As come eres newcomers to the Eastern Shore, authors Martha A. Burns and Linda S. Hartsock bring a fresh perspective to life on the Bay. They present here the memories of a vanishing way of life in rural America, largely in the words of those who lived it and worked it. Much of the language, insights, and emotion of the last century are here for all to read, coupled with the authors' observations and interpretations of their neighbors and the bay they call home.
Print All
Map details are not available for this location.
View Map
Expand All
4 days
3 nights
8 meals
3 B 2 L 3 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Wallops Island
D
Chincoteague Bay Field Station

Activity note: Field station check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. Come to the Road Scholar table in the lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing your room assignment, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, other important information, and to confirm when and where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please contact the Chincoteague Bay Field Station to find out where to meet the group.

Dinner: In the cafeteria, we’ll enjoy a family-style seafood feast! Sample local crabs and shrimp or if you choose, grilled chicken or roasted vegetables. Coffee, tea, water, and a selection of juices and sodas are available.

Evening: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. This is a Road Scholar Retreats program. Our programming at Retreat locations includes opportunities for interaction with members of the local community, a farm-to-table or locally sourced meal, and evening entertainment. Please keep in mind that the workshop schedule is tentative and subject to change due to weather, access, seasons, and other factors. When you arrive, you will receive an updated schedule specially tailored for that particular week. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

DAY
2
Cycling on Chincoteague & Assateague, Hist. of Chincoteague
Wallops Island
B,L,D
Chincoteague Bay Field Station

Activity note: Biking about 20 miles throughout the day; frequent stops; flat, paved terrain. Standing for up to 30 minutes.

Breakfast: In the field station cafeteria, our staff will present an array of fruits, hot and cold cereals, meats, breads/biscuits, eggs, or pancakes for your choosing. Coffee, tea, water, and a selection of juices and sodas are available.

Morning: Our morning will be spent cycling on Chincoteague Island! We’ll view historical sites such as the Timothy Hill House, the oldest house on the island, which was built circa 1815. We will also ride by Miss Molly's Inn, where Marguerite Henry wrote the acclaimed story, ‘Misty of Chincoteague.’

Lunch: We’ll enjoy a picnic at Memorial Park. Weather permitting, we will be making sandwiches while we enjoy the view of the Assateague lighthouse. Build your sandwich from your choice of toppings, and finish it off with cookies, fruits, and other snacks! A cooler filled with ice water and a selection of Gatorade will refresh you after our morning ride.

Afternoon: We’ll meet with a local waterman and learn about the area's rich watermen traditions and heritage. Hear how watermen make their living off what's in season offshore. After that, we’ll ride onto Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and tour the visitor center's excellent exhibits before embarking on a journey along Assateague's many well-kept bicycle paths and limited-access roads. Spring and fall are excellent times for biking in this area. As fall begins to settle on the region, the shore and wading birds leave, making way for our famous waterfowl. You will be amazed by the sheer numbers of majestic snow geese, as well as our beautiful ducks and swans! Spring catches new birth and amazing animals reappearing after their winter's rest.

Dinner: The Eastern Shore is home to some outstanding American fare and seafood restaurants. Your meal will not disappoint at one of these fine eateries.

Evening: A trip to Chincoteague would not be complete without a visit to the award-winning Island Creamery. Enjoy a scoop of its delicious homemade ice cream and experience first-hand why this is a must-stop spot!

DAY
3
Trans-Peninsula Ride, Onancock, Museums
Wallops Island
B,L,D
Chincoteague Bay Field Station

Activity note: Biking about 25 miles throughout the day; semi-frequent stops; flat, paved terrain. Stairs at Ker Place. Standing up to 30 minutes.

Breakfast: In the cafeteria.

Morning: We will begin our ride at the Atlantic Ocean and head toward Onancock. Along the way we will make several stops at local places of interest, including the Locustville Academy. This museum still stands in the 1859 building built to educate boys and girls headed for college. It’s the lone survivor of about a dozen schools of higher learning built in the 1800s. There’s a small museum inside, operated by the Society for the Preservation of Locustville Academy.

Lunch: Lunch will be at a local seafood restaurant in Wachapregue, Virginia.

Afternoon: This afternoon we will bicycle to Onancock, which bills itself as the "Gem of the Eastern Shore." Thanks to a new generation of imaginative shop owners, it has achieved legitimate "must-see" status. Our last museum stop will be Ker Place, a 200-year-old home built in the Federal style by John Ker. Detailed finishing and vibrant colors reflect Ker's fine taste for his period. In the parlor stands a pianoforte, a musical instrument made in Vienna. On the second floor are interpretive exhibits, and on the first floor, a museum store with works by regional artists, crafters and authors. Outside are restored gardens. We will end our day in downtown Onancock.

Dinner: In the field station cafeteria, our staff will serve your dinner with options ranging from a hot meal to a diverse salad bar. Coffee, tea, water, and a selection of juices and sodas are available.

Evening: Tonight, a local group will entertain us with live music.

DAY
4
Wallops Island, Program Concludes
Wallops Island
B

Activity note: Biking 12 miles in the morning; flat, paved terrain. Field station check-out 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: In the cafeteria.

Morning: This morning we will ride from the Chincoteague Bay Field Station campus to Wallops Island, a NASA/Navy base. On the base is a very nice, restricted access beach with an intact dune system. There we will have time to explore the beach, and your Educator will help you to identify shells. NOTE: Our access to Wallops Island will depend on the security level of the base at the time, which is influenced by a number of factors independent of the Chincoteague Bay Field Station and its actions. Upon returning, check out and say goodbye. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.