Cavalier WMA

Locator map

The Cavalier Wildlife Management Area is located in the far southeastern corner of Virginia, in the City of Chesapeake. The management area is comprised of two parcels, the 750-acre Dismal Swamp tract adjoining the Dismal Swamp Canal and the 3,800-acre Cavalier tract that abuts the North Carolina state line near Route 17.


Due to heavy rains forecast from Hurricane Joaquin the WMA will be closed to vehicular traffic at sunset on Saturday, October 3rd. The area will be reopened once staff are able to determine the roads are safe for travel. In addition the mowing of paths on the WMA has been rescheduled for October 8th and 9th.

2015 Habitat Project - NOTE: RESCHEDULED for October 8 & 9 (PDF)

Notice: Due to potential wildlife management concerns, horseback riding is not permitted on this WMA.

Cavalier WMA provides coastal and forested habitats for a wide range of wildlife, including black bear, neo-tropical migratory songbirds, canebrake rattlesnakes, white-tailed deer, and eastern wild turkeys.

Currently, much of the management area is cutover forestland, with several hundred acres in 15-year-old planted pine. The 3,800-acre main tract, located approximately 2.5 miles east of the Great Dismal Swamp National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), was once part of the Great Dismal Swamp but was ditched and drained more than 200 years ago.


Cavalier WMA is now removed from quota hunts and will be open to public hunting. All Chesapeake season dates, regulations, and bag limits apply. Hunting deer or bear with dogs is still prohibited. Centerfire rifles are also prohibited.

Cavalier WMA and the Dismal Swamp tract are not open for the early urban archery season. This season was initiated for suburban localities as a deer management tool and is not intended for Wildlife Management Areas.

Cavalier WMA is not open for September goose and teal hunting. Federal migratory game bird laws prohibit hunting waterfowl over grains that have been manipulated in any manner other than a normal agricultural practice. In order to provide dove hunting opportunities, some crops grown for wildlife are mown, which is in conflict with waterfowl laws.


Physical Address for Driving Directions:
3853 Ballahack Rd, Chesapeake, VA 23322 (map)

From Deep Creek. Route 17 south to Ballahack Road. Left on Ballahack for 1.5 miles. Entrance to Cavalier WMA on right.

Recreational Opportunities on this WMA

  • Hunting
  • Trapping
  • Primitive Camping
  • Warmwater Fishing
  • Hiking
  • Horseback riding NOT permitted
  • Birding