Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge
Warsaw, VA
Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network

[ Print this page ]
Brief Description:

Rappahannock River Valley is one of three national wildlife refuges that comprise the Eastern Virginia Rivers National Wildlife Refuge Complex. The refuge was established in 1996 to conserve fish and wildlife habitat along this vital tributary of the Chesapeake Bay. We focus primarily on protecting and managing tidal and inland wetlands, and adjacent uplands, to benefit bald eagles, other migratory birds, and resident wildlife. In doing so, we contribute to the natural diversity of the mid-Atlantic region, which includes the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

Some areas of the refuge, particularly grasslands, are managed intensively, while on most areas Mother Nature is the primary manager. Where necessary to maintain and improve the health and diversity of habitats, we may used prescribed fire, mowing, and other techniques to achieve desired results.

Many migratory bird species common, and some uncommon, to the Chesapeake Bay region can be seen on the refuge in their native habitats of pond, fields and woodlands. Over 200 species of birds have been observed on the refuge. White-tailed deer are abundant, and bald eagles are present year-round.

Location / Directions:

Directions from Tappahannock to Wilna Pond:

  • From US-17, take US-360 E (toward Warsaw). Follow US-360 E for 4.1 miles.
  • Turn LEFT onto VA-624/Newland Rd. Follow VA-624 for 4.2 miles
  • Turn LEFT onto Strangeway/Rt 636. Follow Strangeway for 0.2 miles
  • Turn RIGHT onto Sandy Lane/Rt 640. Follow Sandy Lane for 1.1 miles
  • Turn LEFT into Rappahannock River Valley NWR
  • Follow the signs to Wilna Pond

Directions from Warsaw to Wilna Pond:

  • Take US-360 W (toward Tappahannock)
  • Turn RIGHT onto VA-624/Newland Rd. Follow VA-624 for 4.2 miles
  • Turn LEFT onto Strangeway/Rt 636. Follow Strangeway for 0.2 miles
  • Turn RIGHT onto Sandy Lane/Rt 640. Follow Sandy Lane for 1.1 miles
  • Turn LEFT into Rappahannock River Valley NWR
  • Follow the signs to Wilna Pond.
Physical Address: Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge
336 Wilna Road
Warsaw, VA 22572
Mailing Address: Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge
P.O. Box 1030
Warsaw, VA 22572
Phone: (804) 333-1470
E-mail: fw5rw_evrnwr@fws.gov
Activities:

On the National Wildlife Refuge System, we promote only wildlife-dependent recreation and only when it is compatible with the purposes of the individual refuge and the mission of the Refuge System. There are six uses that we consider priority uses of the System: environmental education, fishing, hunting, interpetation, photography, and wildlife observation.

Opportunities for all six priority uses are available on the refuge. The Wilna Tract is open daily for freshwater fishing, wildlife observation, and photography. Our interpretive trail system is established around Wilna Pond and is growing, with new exhibits expected for the summer of 2006. School groups are invited for pre-scheduled field trips to explore pond life and investigate nearby habitats using refuge equipment and supplies. Hunting for white-tailed deer is available by permit during the state seasons on Wilna and several other tracts.

There are special regulations in place for fishing and hunting, and are available for review at the Refuge headquarters or on our website.

Birding and Wildlife Viewing Educational Programs Fishing Hiking Hunting

Operating Hours: The Wilna Pond area is open daily from sunrise to sunset. The Port Royal Unit, Tayloe Tract, and Hutchinson tract are open by reservation only.
Fees: None
Visitor Facilities:

Some facilities, such as our trail system, are still relatively modest as we are a young and growing refuge. We have two short trails to view Wilna Pond and the surrounding marsh habitats, and a one mile trail that is in the early stages of development.

Our only public use facilities are currently located at the Wilna Pond site, and include restroom, parking lot, and hand launching for non-motorized watercraft (electric motors allowed). We have a 108-foot fishing pier, which doubles as an environmental education sampling platform.

Size: 7,711 acres
Accessibility: The Wilna Pond trails, restroom, and fishing pier are fully accessible, and there are four designated accessible parking spots.
Website: http://www.fws.gov/northeast/rappahannock

Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network - Comments or Questions: Call: 1-800-YOUR-BAY