James River National Wildlife Refuge is open to wildlife-dependent activities. A nature trail and kiosk information area is open to the public sunrise to sunset, seven days a week. For other wildlife-dependent activities such as canoe/kayaking and hunting, a special use permit is required. Dress appropriately for the weather and bring sufficient water.
In September 2020, James River National Wildlife Refuge opened the Powell Creek nature trail to the public. A virtual ceremony took place to celebrate the opening which can be viewed here. To learn more about the event and the nature trail, read the news release in the maps and resource section.
An information kiosk welcomes visitors at 4550 Flowerdew Hundred Road and serves as the trail head. Visitors can walk the trail which follows Powell Creek for a half mile and then extends across an earthen dike to a small forested island surrounded by freshwater marsh. The total length of the trail is approximately 1.5 miles.
The 4,800-acre wildlife refuge provides numerous opportunities to engage in outdoor activity. From clearly defined nature trails with beautiful views of Powells Creek to expansive hunting grounds in open upland pine stands and along rolling terrain of hardwood forests.
James River National Wildlife Refuge no longer requires reservations to access the 1.5 mile Powell's Creek nature trail. For all other uses of the Refuge, please submit a reservation four business days in advance of the proposed visit. Requests can be made at (804) 829-9020
An information kiosk welcomes visitors at 4550 Flowerdew Hundred Road and serves as the trail head. Visitors can walk the trail which follows Powell Creek for a half mile and then extends across an earthen dike to a small forested island surrounded by freshwater marsh. The total length of the trail is approximately 1.5 miles. For a map of the trail see maps and resources section.
The 1 ½ mile long trail extends from the newly constructed parking area (located at 4550 Flowerdew Hundred Road, North Prince George, VA) along a meandering path next to Powell Creek. The trail is dotted with informational and interpretive signs, observation platforms, and a canoe/kayak launch. Part of the path extends over an earthen dike to a small island surrounded by wetlands.
The Powell Creek Nature Trail is designed to promote the physical and mental benefits that are associated with outdoor activities. This pedestrian trail offers a tranquil setting for a leisurely stroll and see native plants and wildlife in their natural environment.
If you plan to visit, please note the following:
In an effort to maintain the natural resources within the refuge, pets, bikes, and other uses that can adversely impact plants and animals are prohibited.
The public is welcome to walk the trail between sunrise and sunset throughout the year.
Parking is self-limiting, so if the lot is full, please come back at another time to avoid overcrowding.
Other Facilities in the Complex
James River National Wildlife Refuge is managed as a part of the Eastern Virginia Rivers National Wildlife Refuge Complex, which is comprised of four different refuges. Please click the links below to learn more about these refuges.
Rules and Policies
The newly expanded Powell Creek nature trail is open to the public year-round from sunrise to sunset. Please abide by trail rules while on the refuge. Other access to the refuge is to occur in concert with refuge sponsored public events or by special use permit.
Only authorized wildlife dependent recreations activities may occur. These include: wildlife observation, nature photography, white-tailed deer hunting, environmental education, and interpretation.
Visitors must stay on designated trails. Pets are prohibited from entering the refuge.
Ensure resources are not impacted from your visit. Avoid disturbance to animals, plants, and natural history items. Collecting and removing any of these items is prohibited.
Searching for and/or collecting artifacts whether on the surface or subsurface (digging) is strictly prohibited. Stiff penalties, even imprisonment, can result from such action.
Visitors wishing to walk the 1.5 mile Powell Creek nature trail or participants of refuge sponsored events may access the public use area at:
4550 Flowerdew Hundred Road
Hopewell, VA 23860
All other uses of the refuge must be approved by permit
Directions to Refuge: Turn North onto Flowerdew Hundred Road (Route 639) from James River Drive (Route 10). Proceed approximately one mile and turn left (at Information Kiosk Sign).
Directions to the Administrative Office: Turn North onto Kimages Road (Route 658) from John Tyler Memorial Highway (Route 5). Proceed approximately 1 mile and turn right into the Harrison Lake National Fish Hatchery Campus. The refuge office is located in the fourth brick building.