Facility 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.
For a complete list of allowances and prohibitions on National Wildlife Refuges and this specific Refuge please reference the Code of Federal Regulation (CFR).
General Regulatory Guidance -
• No public access without special use permit or specific James River NWR staff authorization on any portions of the wildlife refuge outside of the designated public use trail area.
• No dogs (except for professionally certified and licensed seeing-eye dogs) allowed on the property.
• No alcohol allowed on the property.
• No use of drones on the property.
• No biking on the property.
• No jogging or running.
• No fishing allowed from any location on the refuge. However, fishing from a boat that is not physically connected in any way to the wildlife refuge is allowed (i.e., fishing from a kayak in navigable waters).
• No use of any portion of the property from sunset to sunrise without FWS approved Special Use Permit allowing such activity.
• No loitering.
• No soliciting.
• No more than 10 people from one specific group are allowed to gather at the refuge without Special Use Permit.
• No use of fireworks.
• No fires.
• No devices that make loud noises, music or detracts from other people’s enjoyment of the outdoors.
• No wildlife calling devices.
• No marking of new trails or use of any marking materials for other purposes.
• No collection of natural items (turtle shells, deer sheds, flowers, etc.).
• No digging.
• No off-trail access.
• No littering.
• No camping.
• No wheeled motorized equipment (i.e., ATVs) for use on trails or other refuge sites. The nature trail is for pedestrian use only.
• No planting of flora without authorization from FWS officials.
• No release of any fauna (animals, birds, turtles, etc.).
• No personal property or items are to be left overnight on the refuge. Such items are subject to become federal property if found.
Additional regulations apply. Please contact the refuge office (804-829-9020) to inquire if an activity is allowed. Such inquiries should occur well in advance of a planned visit.