Elizabeth River Park Fun Facts
About the Park
Elizabeth River Park, located along Scuffletown Creek, a tributary to the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River, is centrally located to Portsmouth, Virginia Beach and Norfolk. Improvements were completed on May 30, 2015, for the 12.6-acre park as part of the 4.3-million-dollar renovation project that began on April 14, 2014.
- Phone number: 757-494-1202
- Snack Shack building with concessions and bait and tackle supplies is open Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Boat ramp is open 24 hours a day but the park itself is open daily from sunrise to sunset. Bathrooms close at sunset when the park closes but there is a portable toilet next to the boat ramp for boaters.
- Bathrooms are on the opposite end of the Snack Shack and also on the other side of the park. Men's and Women's restrooms have baby changing stations. To report cleaning or plumbing problems in the restrooms, please call our main office at 757-382-6411.
- In addition to snacks and bait, the Snack Shack sells park t-shirts, chilled slushies, and souvenir cups. Check it out!
- The store sells frozen bait as well as chicken necks, sinkers, nets, basic fishing tackle, and ice ($2 bag).
- If you are a boater, please be cautious of our creek neighbors, especially the tugboats. There can be a lot of tugboat and barge traffic so please stay alert and safe.
- A fish cleaning station with water service is on the dock to the left of the boat ramp.
- The end of the boat dock and to the right of the boat ramp has a gate that can be opened at the discretion of the City. During normal operating hours, this gate will stay locked and off-limits. Mooring, up to 24 hours, will only be permitted on the end closest to the ramp.
- Docks are lighted for safety during night boating.
- The beautiful covered pavilion that is attached to the Ship Shop is a great place to have lunch and/or enjoy views of the river.
- Shelters are available for rent. Rentals can be done at our main office at 1224 Progressive Drive from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Call 757-382-6411 for additional details and availability. Rental fees will be consistent with the fees charged for shelters of similar size at City Park.
- Crabbing and fishing are permitted only on the pier that goes out into the river and runs parallel to the South Norfolk Jordan Bridge. Pier is open for use only during park operating hours of sunrise to sunset.
- No crabbing or fishing off of the pier and docks that are adjacent to the boat ramp.
- No individual fishing license is required to fish or crab at the park.
The scenic overlook is the end of the old Jordan Bridge. Historical signage and artifacts from the old bridge will be installed at and around this location and running to the new bridge segment. This area will provide some history of the old bridge and park prior to all of the recent renovations and construction of the new South Norfolk Jordan Bridge.
The colors of the park were intentional to give a nautical feel and help to create a fun and welcoming environment. Benches placed throughout the park are two-sided along the water to allow guests to relax while looking out over the Elizabeth River or at the park.
Great care has been done to turn this piece of industrial waterfront not only into a beautiful park but one that is environmentally responsible. There is a bio-retention area for parking lot drainage. Storm Water runoff for the parking lot is captured underground, cleaned, and dispersed into the Elizabeth River. There is a riparian barrier along the east side of the property to assist in cleaning rainwater sheet-flow and help stabilize the ground.
The extra segment that you see in the park was donated to the City by South Norfolk Jordan Bridge and Figg Engineering Group. The City is planning on incorporating the underside of the segment to potentially display artifacts and signage from the old Jordan Bridge and also to utilize the top as an additional stage or viewing area during events.
The existing playground has been removed and replaced by a new Pirate-ship-themed play area. In keeping with the park theme, this play area is mostly blue and white. It is located next to the Osprey shelter, under shade and close to restrooms.
This park has something for everyone in the way of fitness. The over half-mile walkway throughout the park is great for a walk or run. A large fitness area with outdoor equipment is placed near the end of the dog park parking lot, overlooking the river. Come work out while viewing the river with a nice breeze and great shade. Additionally, the entire South Norfolk Jordan Bridge has an easily accessible pedestrian walkway that is open sunrise to sunset. Access the bridge walkway right outside our park entrance. If you desire, you can then develop a fitness program that includes the bridge along with our new fitness area and walkways.
- Dog park memberships are required and can be purchased at our Administrative Office and are also available for purchase in the Ship Shop in the park. Dog park membership registration requires proof of a current animal license as well as specific vaccinations, including rabies, from a veterinarian.
- The large section of the dog park is 13,500 square feet (180 feet by 75 feet) and the small section is 4,500 square feet (75 feet by 60 feet) with easy and accessible parking.
- Water service is available in each dog park section.
- 42 picnic tables, 34 trash cans
- 2 shelters with grills
- 5 pavilions, 5 benches along the trail and overlook area of the Old Jordan Bridge
- 11 additional benches scattered around the park, playground, and dog park
- The Snack Shack and Ship Shop is 2,500 square feet and has a 2,000-square-foot attached pavilion with seating
- Two sets of bathrooms are available, one set at the Snack Shack and one free-standing restroom building close to the dog park and playground. Men's and Women's restrooms have baby changing stations. Bathrooms are open only during park hours (sunrise to sunset).
- (If you see any cleaning or plumbing problems in the restrooms, please call our main office at 757-382-6411.)
- A portable toilet is available near the boat ramp 24 hours a day for boaters.
- Enhanced and renovated boat ramp and pier. The pier was extended by 100 feet and the entire pier was completely re-decked. Pier lighting was added for increased boater safety.
- There is a lighted entertainment pavilion that is cooled with fans and faces the scenic lawn.
- There are 79 paved parking spaces in the park, including 8 handicapped, 10 pull-through boat, and trailer spaces, with lighted parking adjacent to the boat ramp.
- Electrical and water service at various locations, scattered throughout the park.
At this time, there are no plans to install an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-accessible Kayak launch at this park but you are allowed to launch kayaks and canoes from the boat ramp. Please be aware of the tug traffic in the creek!
There is a security system for the entire park that includes cameras and motion detectors throughout. Staff have a large screen in the concession area for viewing all areas of the park as well as another monitor for the Park Rangers in the office. Cameras can be viewed from remote City locations.
This park is actively programmed to provide guests with a variety of ways to enjoy the park, including many by community groups and organizations. Concerts, reunions, fishing tournaments, outdoor movies, family events, fitness programs, and educational programs are just some of the examples of what is happening at Elizabeth River Park.
Planning for phase two of the park is in the early stages and is not yet funded. These plans could include the addition of several major features, including fuel pumps and sewage pump-out stations at the boat ramp. Please be aware of the tug traffic in the creek!
If you need further information or have ideas for staff to explore, please contact our main office at 757-382-6411 or email the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department. If you need to contact the Snack Shack/Ship Shop, please call 757-494-1202 or email Elizabeth River Park.