The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service purchased the first tract of land for the refuge in 1996. The refuge currently consists of 8,707 acres. The goal of the refuge is to protect 20,000 acres of wetlands and its associated uplands along the Rappahannock River and its major tributaries. Refuge units are located in Essex, King George, Caroline, Richmond, and Westmoreland counties and include fresh water tidal marsh, forest swamp, upland deciduous forest, mixed pine forest, and grassland habitats.
In 2007, areas of the refuge were designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA). The National Audubon Society designates these areas based on criteria such as population, high concentration in a limited area, or other factors. The IBA designation coincides with areas of high bald eagle concentration.
Download the refuge brochure (pdf - 765KB)
Directions and Contact Info
Administrative Office/Wilna Unit
PO Box 1030/336 Wilna Road
Warsaw, Virginia 22572
804-333-1470 Ext. 1
Directions: Turn north onto Newland Road (Route 624) from US-360. Proceed for 4.2 miles and turn left unto Strangeway Road (Route 636), proceed for .25 mile. Turn right onto Sandy Lane (Route 640) and continue for 1.1 miles. Turn left into the refuge.
19180 Tidewater Trail
Tappahannock, Virginia 22560
Directions: Refuge unit is located 1.5 miles north of Tappahannock on US-17 (south-bound).
Laurel Grove Unit
Laurel Grove Road
Farnham, Virginia 22460
Directions: Turn south onto Farnham Creek Road (Route 608) from VA-3 and proceed 1.3 miles. Turn left unto Hales Point Road (Route 647) and continue for 2.4 miles. Turn right onto Laurel Grove Road (Route 610). Parking for the pond and nature trail will be on your right.