Updates Related to COVID-19 »

Dick Cross Wildlife Management Area

Important Notices

COVID-19 & the VBWT: Be Safe While OutdoorsDWR encourages you to be safe while outdoors. Before heading out, first check with individual sites on the Virginia Bird & Wildlife Trail for any COVID-19 policies or closures. This information is typically posted on a site's own website. Remember to maintain CDC social distancing guidelines while enjoying the outdoors.


This 1400-acre wildlife management area is an excellent place to view waterfowl in the wintertime. Large numbers of ducks and geese congregate in the wetlands along the Roanoke River and Allen Creek. Bufflehead, American coot, ruddy duck, and several other species are usually found in open areas. Make sure to look along the shoreline and in wetland areas to catch a glimpse of more secretive shorebirds such as Virginia rail and common snipe. In February and March, over more open, moist fields, you may be surprised by the intricate courtship displays of the male woodcock, peenting away and flying in complex patterns to impress his mate. A number of bald eagles commonly spend winter months in the vicinity, so visitors may have an opportunity to observe these majestic birds.

During the warmer months, beaver are quite active in and around the wetland areas. Look for the telltale conical cut trees to see where they have done their latest construction. Spring and early summer may be time to see a young bear wandering to find his own territory. The rivers through central Virginia often create travel corridors for many large mammals to cross the Commonwealth. With the many wetlands in this area, there is ample opportunity to see several species of dragon- and damselflies guarding their territories.


  • 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.


Leaving Carter Lane Trail return to US 58 and turn right (east) and continue 5.2 miles to SR 4/Buggs Island Road. Turn right (south) and go 4.5 miles to Tailrace Park on the left. At Castle Heights turn left into the main entrance to Dick Cross WMA and follow the road approximately 2.0 miles to a gate at the marsh.

Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: Virginia Dept. of Game & Inland Fisheries - Region 2 office: 434-525-7522, birdingtrail@dgif.virginia.gov
  • Website
  • Access: Daily. Restore the Wild Membership, hunting license, freshwater fishing license, boat registration, or an access permit is required.

10 Most Recent Bird Observations Added to eBird

  • Canada Goose
  • Wood Duck
  • Ring-necked Duck
  • Greater Scaup
  • Hooded Merganser
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • Mourning Dove
  • Virginia Rail
  • Wilson's Snipe
  • Ring-billed Gull

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Handicap Accessible
  • Hiking Trails
  • Information
  • Lookout Tower
  • Parking