News Release

Jamestown Island Loop Drive to Have a Temporary Closure for Hatchling Protection and a Turtle Activity Study

Box turtle

NPS/Ty Karlovetz

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News Release Date: March 8, 2024

Colonial National Historical Park Press Release

News Release Date: March 8, 2024 – For Immediate Release
Contact: Dwayne Scheid, 757-898-2429
The Turtles are Waking Up! 
Jamestown Island Loop Drive to Have a Temporary Closure for Hatchling Protection and a Turtle Activity Study

YORKTOWN, Va. - The Island Loop Drive on Jamestown Island at Colonial National Historical Park will be closed fully to vehicular traffic beginning Monday, March 18 to protect turtles during periods of increased activity and conduct a turtle activity study. Park staff will reassess turtle activity in June and release updated information regarding vehicular access to the Island Loop Drive. The tour road will be closed to motor vehicle traffic but will remain accessible by pedestrians and cyclists. However, visitors should exercise caution while on the tour road as hatchlings can be as small as 1 inch and are hard to detect.
 On Sunday, March 17 from 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM the park will debut its Turtle Tent, where visitors can meet park staff and engage in a variety of educational hands-on activities designed to increase awareness about turtles, the dangers they face, and how to best protect them during hatchling season. The park is planning on hosting the Turtle Tent several times throughout the duration of the road closure, and more details on scheduling will be available on park social media pages.

 The Island Loop cuts through various habitats seen on Jamestown Island and is a barrier for turtles and other herpetofauna as they travel across the island, leading to mortality. The National Park Service is committed to protecting our natural and cultural resources and employs science-based decision making. Past surveys have found that turtle activity, especially hatchlings, increases in the spring and the fall and that the road closure resulted in a measurable decrease in turtle mortality. This year’s study will be the most comprehensive turtle activity study to date at Colonial National Historical Park. It will provide insight into turtle activity patterns and identify predictors of turtle activity allowing the park to take more effective management actions. 

About Colonial National Historical Park. Colonial National Historical Park was established in 1930 to preserve important 17th and 18th century sites that tell the story of English colonization and the struggle for American independence. Jamestown’s legacy includes representative government, but also slavery, a brutal institution that spread throughout the colonies. At Yorktown, Virginia colonists fought in the last major battle of the American Revolutionary War. The 23-mile Colonial Parkway links the sites and is recognized as an “All-American road”. Learn more

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 429 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at and on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

Last updated: March 8, 2024

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Yorktown, VA 23690


757 898-2410

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