If you’re seeking a solitary high country outing for hunting, hiking, viewing wildlife, or reflecting on a bit of the past, the Havens Wildlife Management Area is for you. The earliest owned Department management area, the initial Haven’s purchase was in 1930 for nearly 6,000 acres at the astonishing cost of $2.61 an acre.
Located in the Appalachian Highlands, this area has grown to 7,190 acres. Havens occupies a part of Fort Lewis Mountain, about five miles west of the Roanoke-Salem area. This is steep and generally inaccessible terrain except to the hardiest hunter or nature enthusiast. Elevations range from 1,500 to 3,200 feet. There is very little water present, occurring only in small intermittent streams that flow through the area during wet periods and several water holes constructed for wildlife. Soils on the area are generally shallow and poor. Ninety-nine percent forested, the area grows a mix of oaks, hickories and pines. Prior to the Department’s purchase, the area’s primary use was for timber production and has been slow to recover from past practices.
There are populations of deer, bear, turkey, squirrel and grouse on the management area. The poor soil conditions and the ruggedness of the terrain have limited wildlife production and the ability to manage the property. Approximately five acres of wildlife clearings are maintained to provide brood range for game and nongame birds as well as forage for deer. Additional habitat diversity has evolved from a history of wild fire, ice damage and wind thrown trees resulting in beneficial canopy openings throughout the forest lands. In addition, a number of areas have been planted with food producing shrubs and several water holes have been established.
The Havens Wildlife Management Area is convenient to the cities of Roanoke and Salem, offering a large number of individuals and groups the opportunity to hike, view wildlife and wild flowers, and pursue other outdoor interests.
Facilities are limited to several trails that meander through portions of the area and partially along the crest of Ft. Lewis Mountain to provide access for foot travel. Four parking lots are available for those visiting the area: one at the end of the Carroll’s Access Road and three along Mason Creek on the northwest boundary.
Havens has two primary public access points, the Carroll’s Access Road from Route 619 (Wildwood Road) on the south side of the property and Route 622 (Bradshaw Road) where it joins the area’s northwest boundary. Access from I-81 at Salem is via Route 619 or 311 North towards Catawba. Consult the map for greater detail.