Visit Us

The National Conservation Training Center, frequently referred to as NCTC, is located just 60 miles or just over 1 hour outside the Washington DC metropolitan beltway. We are part of the Shepherdstown, West Virginia community also known for the nearby state university just down the road from us. Our location is closest to the Washington Dulles International Airport, but many customers also use Baltimore/Washington International and Reagan National (DC) Airport.

Guests and staff are encouraged to bring comfortable walking shoes for both during their work hours to get to and from Commons or instructional areas as well as to take advantage of the miles of recreational trails around the outlying areas of the property.

The campus is only available when a special event has been scheduled for the public. 

EV Charging Stations

EV Charging stations are now located in the Blue and Green lots.

These charging stations require either a ChargePoint account and card, or an RFID enabled credit card to operate operate
To manipulate the controls of any conveyance, such as, but not limited to, an aircraft, snowmobile, motorboat, off-road vehicle, or any other motorized or non-motorized form of vehicular transport as to direct its travel, motion, or purpose.

Learn more about operate
. It is important to note that you should set up your ChargePoint account prior to your arrival to NCTC. Unless you are reporting a faulty unit, NCTC staff are not involved in any transaction between customers and ChargePoint.

To create your ChargePoint account, please visit: https://www.chargepoint.com/drivers/

If there are issues with your account access or use, please call ChargePoint at 1-888-758-4389 (available 24 hours a day).

Tick Precautions

Ticks are active at NCTC from late spring through early fall.  Learn additional information.

Points of Interest

You may find the following locations of interest when visiting.

USFWS Conservation Library

The USFWS Conservation Library is located onsite where we share our physical resources in addition to our online resources. It features classic and contemporary conservation literature, historic FWS publications, and resources that complement NCTC courses and FWS program areas. The library is self-service. For additional information, call 304-876-7459 or email library@fws.gov.

USFWS Conservation Museum and Archives

Please take time to discover and enjoy the many historic exhibits and photographs in our USFWS Conservation Museum and Archives located in the Entry/Auditorium Building.  In addition, the NCTC also contains displays throughout the classrooms, lodges, and common areas.  Our Center has dedicated itself to the interpretation and display of America's Conservation Heritage."

The idea is to have history integrated into every aspect of conservation training. To meet our conservation goals the National Conservation Training Center has a full-time Museum Curator trained in historical preservation and display. 

Fallen Comrades Memorial Wall

The Fallen Comrades Memorial Wall is located between the Lemon Building (I-West) and the Laboratory building in the open court area (also called the 'Quad'). This wall contains slate plaques with engraved names of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service comrades who died in service, with brick courtyard inscriptions.

Elm Grove Overlook

Elm Grove Overlook is out the front door of the Entry/Auditorium building, up the mowed path to the right/west of the building. In addition to a broad view of the campus and eagles nest, there are several varieties of native elm trees and memorial benches. This Nature Conservancy memorial honors the late Mark Benedict (1952 - 2006) an esteemed Conservancy employee who served at NCTC.

Butterfly Garden

The Butterfly Garden is located just off the eastern porch of the West Pond Office Building. Patterned after ornithologist and artist Roger Tory Peterson’s Connecticut garden outside his studio, this small butterfly garden educates visitors and serves as a focus for local school activities.

There are many opportunities after hours to take advantage of our campus. The Potomac River runs adjacent to the north side of the property and known for the small mouth bass, catfish, and other popular river varieties.

Activities

We are in the process of organizing additional activities to make you stay more enjoyable in your free time after class.  For now, please enjoy our current activities list at the bottom of this page.

Trails

There are several walking trails available for participants while attending training of varying lengths throughout the campus. NCTC's walking trail guide, color-coded by trail and length is available at the Front Desk.

  • Campfire Trail

The Campfire Trail is a short, paved trail that spans between the Instructional West Primary Trail and the Instructional West Secondary Trail to provide access to the Campfire, located on the southern side of the Lemon Building.

  • Elm Grove Observation Trail

Elm Grove Overlook is out the front door of the Entry/Auditorium building, up the mowed path to the right/west of the building. In addition to a broad view of the campus and eagles nest, there are several varieties of native elm trees and memorial benches. This Nature Conservancy memorial honors the late Mark Benedict (1952 - 2006) an esteemed Conservancy employee who served at NCTC.

  • Nest Box Path

Nest Box Path is a .40 mile loop with the trail head located just across the street from the Murie Lodge. The far portion of the loop connects with Terrapin Neck Trail. This trail offers a variety of bird nesting boxes and habitat.

  • River Path Trail

River Path is .30 miles in length, depicted in red on the trail guide, and runs behind the instructional and laboratory buildings. River Path has an optional cut-off path that runs downhill to the Potomac River’s edge allowing walkers access for wheelchair and viewing along the river.

  • Riverview Farm Trail

River View Farm Trail is 1 mile long and located on the western edge of the property and depicted in dark blue on the trail guide. This lasso-shaped trail starts on the gravel road to the barn. River View Farm Trail is a combination of forested areas and rolling hills.

  • Terrapin Neck Trail

Terrapin Neck Trail is 1.60 miles and depicted in green on the trail guide. It is the longest NCTC trail and runs south from the Tulip Poplar loop down past the Support Services building and across the street below the Guard Station. It then cuts back north near the eagle nesting area, crosses Baird Drive, runs past Elm Grove Overlook and ends near the ADA parking in front of the Entry/Auditorium building.

  • Tulip Poplar Way

Tulip Poplar Way is .60 miles of the most level and popular trail at NCTC. It is covered in light brown gravel for easier and cleaner walking or jogging. The trail is depicted in purple on the trail guide. The trail head is accessed on the left-rear side of East Pond located on the east side of the Physical Training building.

  • Twin Leaf Trail

Twin Leaf Trail is .40 miles in length and depicted in yellow on the trail guide. One end starts at the Commons building side of the bridge. It runs under the bridge down to the Potomac River and behind the Commons and Physical Training buildings. Walkers can also access the end of this trail from the side of east pond, located on the east side of the Central Plant building.

Other Facilities in the Complex

The Children's Treehouse

NCTC has an on-site day care center for children up to the kindergarten age. You will need to register at least 2 weeks in advance. Spaces are first come first serve. For additional information, contact the Children's Tree House Director Nickie Weller via email nickie@childrenstreehouse.org or by calling at 304-876-7354.

Rules and Policies

Guidelines and rules are needed to prevent harm and keep everyone safe in our facility. In order to provide a safe and enjoyable use, please follow the National Conservation Training Center rules and regulations below.

Locations

National Conservation Training Center
698 Conservation Way Shepherdstown, WV 25414
Driving Directions

From Washington Dulles International Airport, Sterling, VA

Tolls vary between $5.65 - $6.65. Credit cards accepted.

  • Depart Airport on the Dulles Access road to Rt. 267 West
  • Take exit 9A and follow signs for Rt. 267 West
  • Keep right at the fork and merge onto Rt. 267 W towards Leesburg
  • Remain on 267 for 13.5 miles
  • Take left lane Exit 1A onto VA - 7 West towards Leesburg/ Warrenton
  • Merge onto VA - 7 West and follow for 3.9 miles
  • Exit onto VA - 9 West towards Hillsboro / Charles Town, West Virginia
  • Follow VA - 9 for 12.5 miles crossing into West Virginia
  • Continue straight on WV - 9 approximately 5 miles
  • Take right exit to remain on WV - 9 towards Martinsburg, West Virginia
  • Continue on WV - 9 for 7.4 miles
  • Take exit for WV - 480 / Leetown Rd
  • At bottom of the ramp turn right onto WV - 480 North toward Shepherdstown follow for 5.9 Miles into Shepherdstown.
  • At the Stop Sign proceed straight through the intersection
  • Drive downhill, past student crosswalks and turn Left onto Shepherd Grade Road for 3 miles
  • NCTC entrance will be on the right
  • Proceed through the gate and follow signs to registration in the entry/auditorium building. If the gate is closed, push call button for assistance.

From Reagan National Airport, Arlington, VA

  • Exit the Airport on George Washington Memorial Pkwy North and follow for 11.5 miles
  • Exit right and merge onto I-495 N toward Maryland and follow for 4.4 miles
  • Exit left onto I-270 Spur following signs for I-270
  • Merge onto I-270 N and follow for 29.1 miles
  • Take exit 32 and merge onto I-70 W towards Hagerstown
  • In 1.2 miles take exit 52 and merge onto US-15 S/ US 340 W
  • Follow US 340 W to West Virginia for 21.3 miles (staying right when US-15 splits off)
  • Turn right at traffic light onto WV-230 N, followed by an immediate left to remain on WV-230
  • Follow WV-230 for 8.8 miles to Shepherdstown. Cross Railroad tracks and turn right on South Princess St.
  • Follow to German street, turn left.  Go up hill to Four-Way Stop (Intersection of German and Duke Streets).  Turn Right
  • Drive down hill 0.2 miles, past student cross walk and turn left on Shepherd Grade Road (SGR).
  • Follow SGR for 3.3 miles - turn right into NCTC gate.
  • Proceed through the gate and follow signs to registration in the entry/auditorium building. If the gate is closed, push call button for assistance.

From Baltimore-Washington International Airport, Baltimore, MD

Use the free shuttle service (lower level) to Consolidated Rental Car Facility

  • Turn right departing rental facility onto New Ridge Road
  • Travel approximately 1 mile to Route 100 West toward Ellicott City, Maryland
  • Follow to Route 29 North toward I-70
  • Merge onto I-70 West via Exit 25B toward Frederick, Maryland
  • Travel 35 miles W on I-70 - merge onto US 340 West via Exit 52 toward Charles Town, West Virginia
  • Travel 21 miles on US 340 to second traffic light at Rt. 230. Turn right on Rt. 230
  • Follow Rt. 230 for 8.9 miles to Shepherdstown.  Cross Railroad tracks and turn right on South Princess St.
  • Follow to German Street, turn left.  Go up hill to Four-Way Stop (Intersection of German and Duke Streets). Turn Right
  • Drive down hill 0.2 miles, past student cross walk and turn left on Shepherd Grade Road (SGR)
  • Follow SGR for 3.3 miles - turn right into NCTC gate.
  • Proceed through the gate and follow signs to registration in the entry/auditorium building. If the gate is closed, push call button for assistance.