About the Refuge

The refuge in fall

Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge is the youngest member of the Eastern Virginia Rivers National Wildlife Refuge Complex. It was established to conserve and protect fish and wildlife resources such as the bald eagle, threatened and endangered species, and wetlands.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service purchased the first tract of land for the refuge in 1996. The refuge currently consists of 9,030 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
336 Wilna Road
Warsaw, Virginia 22572
804-333-1470 Ext. 111

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 0.25 mile. Turn right onto Sandy Lane (Route 640) and continue for 1.1 miles. Turn left into the refuge.

Please click for directions and information about our Units: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Rappahannock_River_Valley/visit/plan_your_visit.html.

Click for a virtual tour of the Wilna Unit!