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National Wildlife Refuge

Headquarters Office
12638 Darby Brooke Court
Woodbridge, VA   22192
E-mail: potomacriverrefuges@fws.gov
Phone Number: 703-490-4979
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
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Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge
Featherstone NWR is located about 22 miles south of Washington D.C. at the confluence of Neabsco Creek and the Potomac River. The refuge is managed by staff of the Potomac River NWR Complex. Composed of wetlands and woodlands, the refuge is a narrow strip along the shore of the Potomac River and mouth of Neabsco Creek with a railroad right of way bordering the western edge. The refuge provides habitat for Neotropical migrants, waterfowl, ospreys, and historically bald eagles. Public access to Featherstone NWR is limited to water landing only via the southern end of Farm Creek. Until an agreement among the refuge, CSX Transportation, and Virginia Railway Express is reached, water will be the only access point to the refuge. An agreement would provide land access to a trail system on the refuge through the Virginia Railway Express station platform.

For current refuge information please visit the Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge website at: http://www.fws.gov/refuge/Featherstone/

Getting There . . .
Featherstone National Wildlife Refuge is accessable via water only. Visitors may use non-motorized boats to paddle in to the refuge.

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Wildlife and Habitat

Featherstone is 325 acres of tidal marsh and riparian wetlands with mature oaks, tulip poplars and red maples. The refuge is located north of the mouth of the Neabsco Creek at the confluence of the Occoquan and Potomac Rivers in Prince William County, Virginia. The 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 the 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. Some mammals that frequent the area include white-tailed deer, red fox, raccoon, gray squirrel, and beaver.

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In 1970, one hundred and sixty-four acres of land was acquired "to protect the features of a contiguous wetland area." An additional 161 acres of land was acquired from the District of Columbia in 1979, fully establishing the refuge. The site is a short distance down stream along the Occoquan River from the Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Deeds recorded between the late 1600s and 1700s give evidence that the lands of both refuges were most likely part of the large Deep Hole Farm. In the mid-1800s, Featherstone became a rail corridor for the Richmond Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad. The original rail-bed with cinder and coal slag is still a prominent feature spanning the entire length of the refuge. Today the CSX Corporation maintains its north-south rail lines along the western edge of Featherstone. Currently, the refuge is open to public access via a water landing only, accessible at the southern end of Farm Creek.

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    Recreation and Education Opportunities
Environmental Education
Wildlife Observation
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Management Activities
Due to limited access, management is custodial. Illegal fishing, firearms use, trespassing, and camping are law enforcement issues. Current is limited to water landing only via the southern end of Farm Creek. There are no facilities or management activities supporting public use.

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