Powhatan Wildlife Management Area

Description

This is gently rolling upland, well drained by a number of small streams that make their way to Sallee Creek, which flows northward across the entire management area on its way to the James River. Due to the area’s past use for farming, and some of the current wildlife management practices of burning and discing, much of the area is open fields. These openings, along with mature and newly emerging forests, assure a diversity of wildlife cover types. The area’s acreage is contiguous, although divided by Route 60 and has one privately owned interior property. Water on the area includes four “farm” ponds.

Powhatan is really like visiting two entirely different areas. The area south of US 60 is forests and fields with a large beaver impoundment at its center. Here you are as likely to see merlin, Acadian flycatcher, and wood duck as you are bald eagles. During migration, bobolinks have been seen in large flocks in the open fields. North of US 60 are the Powhatan Lakes, which host a variety of waterfowl. At the far western end of the lower lake, a medium-size heron rookery exists. With binoculars in hand in late winter and early spring, you can watch the daily comings and goings of great-blue heron parents fishing the lakes to feed their hungry young.

The eastern and northern portions of the area with their expansive open fields and brushy habitat make excellent areas for glassing a variety of warblers and other songbirds, woodpeckers, and raptors. The mature hardwoods attract a variety of interior forest species and make excellent locations to hear and possibly see owls. Both great horned and barred owls are common on the area. Deer and turkey can often be observed feeding along the edge of the fields that dot the landscape throughout the area. The beaver swamps, ponds, and lakes provide an attractive site to view wood ducks and geese along with a host of wetland bird species.

Notes:

  • To Access the Site: A Restore the Wild Membership, Virginia hunting license, freshwater fishing license, boat registration, or an access permit is required.
  • 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 or blaze pink for safety.

Directions

Physical Address (Powhatan Lakes portion of the WMA): Powhatan Lakes Rd., Powhatan, VA 23139

Coordinates: 37.578361, -77.992333

To access the Powhatan Lakes portion of the WMA: From U.S. Route 60, turn north onto State Route 684.  See WMA map for other entrances and parking areas.

To the Powhatan Lakes portion of the WMA, from the Previous Site on the Heart of the Piedmont Loop of the VBWT:

From Amelia Wildlife Management Area, return to Rt. 616/Genito Road and turn right (west). Follow Rt. 616 approximately 2.5 miles to Rt. 609/Royalton Road. Continue on Rt. 609 for 4.5 miles to SR 13 (Be aware that Rt. 609 becomes Giles Bridge Road in Powhatan County.) Turn left on SR 13 and continue west for 2.4 miles to Rt. 627/Ridge Road. Turn right on Rt. 627 and travel north on Rt. 627 to US 60. Turn right on US 60 and follow it east for 1.8 miles to Rt. 684. Turn left on Rt. 684 and follow it north for 1.2 miles to Rt. 625. Rt. 625 dead-ends at the former Powhatan Lakes area.

In addition to the Powhatan Lakes entrance, the Wildlife Management Area can be accessed from several roads off to the right of Rt. 627 or entered at the main access from Rt. 662 4.2 miles north of SR 13.