Credit: Vern Patterson
Fawn at rest
Welcome to Canaan
Valley National Wildlife Refuge, the nation’s 500th! The Refuge works
to preserve the unique wetlands and uplands of this high elevation, moist
You may enjoy the Refuge by
participating in wildlife-dependent recreation, including wildlife observation
and photography, hunting, fishing, environmental education, and nature
programs. The combination of wet soils, forests, shrub lands and open
lands throughout the valley provides a diversity of wildlife habitats.
In these habitats, some animals, such as deer, raccoon, geese and squirrel
are easy to see. Others, such as mink, bobcat and barred owls stay hidden
most of the time. Beaver build dams from trees, manipulating water levels
to their advantage. Woodcock treat us to their breeding display in spring.
Turkey and ruffed grouse provide a challenge for hunters and birders.
Over the years, native brook trout in area streams have been joined by
other species of trout and bass.
On August 11, 1994, with the
purchase of 86 acres the Refuge was established. With the purchase of
approximately 12,000 acres in 2002, the Refuge grew to 15,245 acres in
size. The Refuge currently is approximately 17,000 acres.