Legend surrounding the fairy stone includes good fortune for those finding one of these small, crystallized crosses. Fortunate too are those who find the Fairystone Farms Wildlife Management Area. Beyond its own appeal to outdoor enthusiasts, the management area is surrounded by other facilities that provide a broad range of activities throughout the year.
Fairystone Farms Wildlife Management Area occupies 5,321 acres, in Patrick and Henry Counties. Divided into several parcels, the management area surrounds much of Fairystone State Park and borders portions of Philpott Lake. The area is nestled in the eastern foothills of the Blue Ridge and features steep slopes and small areas of bottom land. The woodlands on the area are predominantly a mix of oak, hickory and pine. Beech and poplar grow in the narrow valleys. Forest management stresses maintaining habitat suitable for turkeys, deer and a variety of small game and nongame wildlife. An eight-acre marsh impoundment is a refuge for migrating waterfowl.
Hunting opportunities on Fairystone Farms WMA is enhanced considerably by the public access also allowed on adjoining Fairystone State Park and Philpott Lake lands. Altogether these three public landowners provide over 14,000 acres that is open to hunting. The primary species available are deer, turkeys, squirrels and raccoons. This area is a favorite with deer hunters, including an opportunity to hunt within a 5,000-acre quality deer management zone that has special antler restrictions. Squirrel hunting is popular and bushy-tails seem to be at the height of their abundance during years of plentiful oak and hickory mast. Spring gobbler hunting has become very popular in recent years. There is also limited hunting opportunity for woodcock, grouse, quail and waterfowl. No hunting is allowed on the managed waterfowl impoundments.
Excellent fishing opportunities are nearby. The Smith River gets honors for one of the most productive trout fisheries in the state. Portions of the river below the dam are stocked annually from October through May. This River also supports terrific numbers of wild brown trout that are available for anglers throughout the entire year. The 2,880-acre Philpott Lake supports a good population of largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, walleye, and sunfish. The bass population is doing well producing largemouth up to 8 pounds and smallmouth bass up to 5 pounds. The walleye fishery is one of the best walleye fisheries in the state with most fish averaging 2-4 pounds. Neighboring Fairystone Lake is a 168-acre reservoir that contains largemouth bass, crappie, and sunfish.
The marsh refuge receives frequent visits by waterfowl throughout the year and provides some unusual opportunities for bird watchers. The management area and other nearby public lands also provide the opportunity to hike and view an array of upland wildlife species.
Roads, nature trails and parking areas serve sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts that use the area.
Fairystone Farms Wildlife Management Area is located 15 miles northwest of Martinsville and 45 miles south of Roanoke, near the town of Bassett. From Bassett the area is reached via State Route 57 west. Consult the map for detail.
Images by: Meghan Marchetti - DGIF