Visit Us

Are you ready to explore your local National wildlife refuge? Rappahannock River Valley offers many wildlife-dependent activities for you to enjoy and reconnect with nature. Take a walk on one of our five miles of nature trails and listen closely to hear (and sometimes see) wildlife! Enjoy fishing or paddling in one of the many peaceful creeks and ponds we protect. Practice your wildlife photography and observation skills or learn something new by stopping by one of our many interpretive kiosks. There's an activity for everyone at Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge!

Need to Know:

Visiting the refuge is completely free. When enjoying the outdoors, please be mindful of the elements. It is a good idea to wear bug repellant and sunscreen while fishing or walking along a nature trail. Always check for ticks after spending time outdoors. Sources of potable water are not readily available. In order to stay properly hydrated it would be beneficial to bring drinking water along on your visit. Restroom facilities are located near the Wilna and Laurel Grove ponds. At the Hutchinson Unit, there are restrooms near the pavilion and near the pier.


Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge welcomes visitors to participate in a variety of wildlife-dependent activities. These activities were determined to be legitimate and appropriate uses of the Refuge System in 1997, when the President of the United States signed the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act into law.

Activities you can enjoy include wildlife observation, photography, hunting, fishing, environmental education, interpretation, hiking and paddling. Please note that not every unit offers all of these activities and some activities, like hunting, are only offered seasonally. See below for more information.


Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge trails provide family-friendly, wildlife viewing opportunities. The refuge is currently made up of five public units all open year-round from dawn to dusk. With few hills, trails have relatively little elevation gain, offering easeful walks around our ponds and creeks. Need help navigating? Currently our Wilna, Hutchinson, and Port Royal Units have trail maps that can be picked up at their entrance kiosks.

Related Documents

Five units are open to the public in Richmond, Essex, and Caroline Counties. Nature trail and water trail maps can be located at headquarters and unit kiosks. Attached below are also available PDFs to help you plan your visit. Currently, there are no trail maps of the Wellford or Laurel Grove units. Please read the trail descriptions or call headquarters for more information about these units.

Port Royal Water Trail Guide.pdf

This document shows three different water trail routes along the Rappahannock River starting at the Port Royal Unit in Caroline County, Virginia along with detailed descriptions of what you may find out on the water.

Other Facilities in the Complex

Rappahannock River Valley 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

Public units on the refuge are open to dawn to dusk.

Pets are prohibited on the refuge.

Disturbing or collecting plants, animals, or artifacts is prohibited.

Swimming, camping, and fires are also prohibited on the refuge.

Please take out any trash you bring in.


Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters
336 Wilna RoadWarsaw,VA22572-2961
Driving Directions

Wilna Unit/Administrative Office

336 Wilna Road

Warsaw, Virginia 22572

804-333-1470 Ext. 111                             

Directions: Turn north on Newland Road (Route 624) from US-360. Proceed for 4.2 miles and turn left onto Strangeway Road (Route 636), proceed for 0.25 miles. Turn right onto Sandy Lane (Route 640) and continue for 1.1 miles. Turn left into the refuge.

Hutchinson Unit

19180 Tidewater Trail

Tappahannock, Virginia 22560                                                                               

Directions: Refuge unit is located 1.5 miles north of Tappahannock on US-17 (south-bound).

Laurel Grove Unit

736 Laurel Grove Road

Farnham, Virginia 22460 

Directions: Turn south onto Farnham Creek Road (Route 608) from VA-3 and proceed 1.3 miles. Turn left onto Hales Point Road (Route 647) and continue for 2.4 miles. Turn right onto Laurel Grove Road (Route 610). Parking for the pond and nature trail will be on your right.

Port Royal Unit

Caroline Street

Port Royal, Virginia 22535                                                                                         

Directions: Take US-360 West (toward Tappahannock). Turn right onto US-17 North and proceed to US-301 (about 25 miles). Turn right onto US-301 North. Proceed to Caroline Street (about 0.7 miles). Turn right onto Caroline Street. Road ends at refuge.

Welford Unit

241Coates Lane

Warsaw, VA 22572                                                                           

Directions: From Tappahannock (Route US-17) turn right onto US-360 north. Proceed 2.8 miles and refuge will be on the left.

Cat Point Creek Unit (opening date TBD 2022)

2570 Newland Road

Warsaw, VA 22572                                                           

Directions: Turn north on Newland Road (Route 624) from US-360. Proceed for 2.1 miles and turn right into the refuge.

Wilna Unit Office Hours
Refuge Hours
Every Day