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Headwaters of the James

Important Notices

COVID-19 & the VBWT: Be Safe While OutdoorsDGIF encourages you to be safe while outdoors. Before heading out, first check with individual sites on the Virginia Bird & Wildlife Trail to find out whether they are still open to the public. Information regarding closures is typically posted on a site's own website. Be advised that some sites, even if still open, may have certain public facilities closed during this time. If a site is still open, maintain CDC social distancing guidelines while enjoying the outdoors.


The Headwaters of the James Loop is composed of nine sites located in Bath County. These sites lie in the shadows of large mountains near the western border of Virginia, just south of Highland County. Several of the sites on this loop are privately-owned, offering expansive, large tracts of undisturbed lands. Low-lying areas, valleys of the grand mountain surroundings, are often suppliers of essential water to area wildlife. Places like the fish hatchery, situated along the Cowpasture River in the shadows of Shenandoah Mountain, can be excellent spots for migrating waterfowl and shorebirds. The final stop along the upper side of Lake Moomaw is a great place to catch a glimpse of bald eagles feeding on the lake. As you travel through this area, consider the fact that the water that flows past you today will eventually wind its way to the Chesapeake Bay.

Loop Map



County of Bath Tourism