G. Richard Thompson Wildlife Management Area
Elevation: 1006 ft.
G. Richard Thompson Wildlife Management Area provides several access points to the eastern slope of the Blue Ridge Mountains. This area is primarily forested with a few clearings and the 10-acre Thompson Lake on the eastern side along Rt. 688. The majority of the forest in this area was originally dominated by oak and hickory. Many of the oaks died due to gypsy moth infestation. Currently, pole-sized poplar, red maple and ash are the most prevalent species. The variety of elevations within this management area provide for a greater diversity of bird life. Many of Virginia’s woodland birds can be found here with eastern wood-pewee, Carolina wren, red-eyed vireo and eastern towhee calling throughout the day. Several species of warbler nest in the area with worm-eating, black-and-white, hooded, Kentucky and cerulean all being recorded, and being joined by many more species during migration. Thompson Lake is worth checking in the summer months for a variety of dragon- and damselflies, including eastern amberwing, common whitetail, and widow skimmer. Butterflies are also present with eastern tiger and spicebush swallowtails, pearl crescent and eastern comma all congregating along the moist banks of the lake.
Note: Hunting could be occurring at this site April 1 – May 31 and September 1 – February 28th, except on Sundays. If you are visiting this site during hunting seasons, please wear blaze orange for safety.
To Access Site: A Virginia hunting license, freshwater fishing license, boat registration, or access permit is required.
Physical Location: Route 688, Markham, VA 22643
Coordinates: 38.95744, -77.98902
From I-66 in Markham, take Exit 17 onto Route 688 (Leeds Manor Road) north. Two parking areas are accessible on Route 688 (Leeds Manor Road). The first will be on the left about 1 mile after exiting I-66, the second is about 2.8 miles further north and will also be on the left.
From the Previous Site on the Front Royal Loop of VBWT:
From Caledonia Farm, return to Flint Hill and travel north on US 522 for 0.1 miles. Turn right onto Crest Hill Rd./Rt. 647 and follow it 7.6 miles to Leeds Manor Rd./Rt. 688 in Jerry’s Shop. Turn left on Rt. 688 and continue north 10.6 miles, crossing I-66, to the G. Richard Thompson WMA parking area on the left. A second parking area is located 2.8 miles north along Rt. 688.