Plan Your Visit

Muskrat - Bill Wallen.

Know Before You Go

  • Be aware, Featherstone Refuge lacks facilities such as bathrooms, shelters, and a visitor contact station.
  • Summer - Hot and humid. Drink fluids and use sunscreen while engaging in refuge activities.
  • Spring and Fall - Mild and pleasant.
  • Winter - mild with occasional cold, blustery winds across meadows and off the river.
  • Biting Insects – Use repellent when hiking during from April to October to deter mosquitoes, and biting flies.
  • Ticks - Avoid walking through tall grasses and stay on trails. Ticks may transmit disease; visitors are encouraged to check for ticks following a visit.
  • Poison Ivy - All parts of the three leafed plant may result in skin rashes
  • Northern copperhead – To avoid the venomous snake, stay out of high grass and watch your step on trails.
  • Map and Visitor Information Sheet

Points of Interest

Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge is one of three refuges managed by the Potomac River National Wildlife Refuge Complex. Featherstone refuge is a narrow strip of land along the shore of the Potomac River and mouth of Neabsco Creek with a railroad right of way bordering the western edge. The refuge protects 325 acres of tidal marsh and riparian wetlands. Large “bottomland” hardwood trees provide suitable habitat with ample nest cavities for pileated and red-bellied woodpeckers, barred owls and prothonotary warblers. Waterfowl enjoy the quiet and secluded waters of Farm Creek for dabbling in aquatic plant life and fishing for shad and herring. Bald eagles have maintained a nest within or adjacent to the refuge for a number of years. Mammals frequenting the refuge include white-tailed deer, red fox, raccoon, gray squirrel, and beaver.

Currently, public access to Featherstone NWR is limited. Access is restricted to a designated non-motorized boat water landing via the southern end of Farm Creek due to visitor safety concerns. A CSX Transportation railroad spans the length of the refuge carrying high speed passenger and freight trains. Water will be the only access point to the refuge until an agreement providing safe access across the railroad is reached among the refuge, CSX Transportation, and Virginia Railway Express.