Ware Creek WMA is 2600 acres in New Kent County in the community of Barhamsville. Located on the York River and bounded by Philbates and Ware Creeks, this area offers extensive wetlands, as well mixed hardwood and pine forests and open fields.
The uplands of Ware Creek WMA are comprised primarily of variously aged mixed pine and hardwood forests with some pine plantation. Agricultural fields offer upland habitat variety along with small wildlife clearings. Wetlands include rich saltmarshes as well as tidal freshwater marshes and small interior ponds and beaver wetlands.
Excellent opportunities exist for a variety of upland game, especially deer and wild turkey as well as small game. Terrapin Point Marsh on the York River, along with the marshes of Ware and Philbates Creeks offer good waterfowl and rail hunting opportunities. Agricultural fields and field edges provide habitat variety and support some early successional species. There are currently no dedicated dove fields at this WMA – but these will likely be developed in the future.
Hunting deer or bear with dogs is prohibited on Ware Creek WMA.
Ware Creek WMA is open for dove hunting as per WMA rules and regulations and seasons listed in the Hunting Digest.
Ware Creek is open for fall turkey hunting, except that turkey hunting is closed during the general deer firearms season.
Ware Creek WMA is open to fall turkey hunting on Thanksgiving Day.
Spring Turkey Hunting at Ware Creek WMA is administered through the Department’s Quota System and is closed to general visitation except for Sundays.
Waterfowl hunting on and within 500 yards of the WMA is permitted (except portions of Philbates Creek — see below) as per 4VAC15-260-75 and will be allowed on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Hunters may not occupy their hunting location until 5 AM and hunting must end by 1 PM.
Waterfowl hunting is allowed on the marshes, shorelines and creeks, except on Philbates Creek. On Philbates Creek, no hunting is allowed in the waters or marshes along the main stem of the Creek. Hunting is allowed on the southeastern tributary of Philbates creek that runs into the interior of the WMA. The area open to hunting will be posted along the mouth of this tributary. No waterfowl or coot hunting is allowed on the agricultural fields at Ware Creek as these fields are manipulated.
Ware Creek WMA is generally open to trapping except that no trapping is allowed in the Terrapin Point marsh or on DGIF-owned property within the marshes of Ware Creek and Philbates Creek during the general waterfowl season.
Fishing opportunities here are primarily found in adjacent York River as well as the brackish Ware and Philbates Creeks. The best access to these areas is by boat. Additional fishing opportunities on the WMA will be developed.
Paddling and boating opportunities exist on the York River and Ware and Philbates Creeks. Launching facilities are available at nearby York River State Park for a fee and at the DGIF ramp located in West Point. Excellent wildlife viewing opportunities exist at Ware Creek WMA. Waterfowl, marsh birds songbirds and raptors like bald eagle and osprey can be found here along with reptiles like diamondback terrapin, eastern box turtle, and eastern rat snake.
Parking lots are available.
From Richmond and Points West: From I64 East take Exit 227 VA-30 Toano/Williamsburg. Turn Left onto Old Stage Rd (VA-30). After 1.5 miles turn right onto Holly Forks Rd. After 0.9 miles Holly Forks Rd becomes Tabernacle Rd. Continue on Tabernacle Rd for 1.9 miles and turn left onto Triangle Rd. After 0.5 miles turn right onto Holly Fork Rd and proceed 0.3 miles to Millers Rd. Turn left on Millers Rd and continue 0.4 miles to the management area.
From Newport News and Points South: From I64 West take Exit 227 VA-30 Toano/Williamsburg. Turn right onto Old Stage Rd (VA-30). After 1.5 miles turn right onto Holly Forks Rd. After 0.9 miles Holly Forks Rd becomes Tabernacle Rd. Continue on Tabernacle Rd for 1.9 miles and turn left onto Triangle Rd. After 0.5 miles turn right onto Holly Fork Rd and proceed 0.3 miles to Millers Rd. Turn left on Millers Rd and continue 0.4 miles to the management area.
Images by: Meghan Marchetti - DGIF