Updates Related to COVID-19 »

Fluvanna Ruritan Lake

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 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.

Important Notices For This Site

Fluvanna Ruritan Lake – Low Lake LevelIn 2018, the spillway of Fluvanna Ruritan Lake sustained storm damage that needs repair. The lake is being maintained at a lower level (3–5 feet below normal pool) to limits the amount of discharge released through the spillway until repairs can be made. Planning for the repair project has begun and the agency is looking to secure funding to complete the project. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Any updates on the repairs or water levels will be posted on this page.


This site holds a lot of potential for a wildlife-packed excursion. Start at the lake and scan the far banks and the numerous small coves and bays for great blue herons standing motionless in the shadows. Ospreys can be seen overhead, surveying the bass population for their next meal, all the while, lazy eastern painted turtles soak up the sun. The open waters attract a variety of waterfowl with American widgeon, gadwall, northern shovelers and ruddy ducks mixed in with American coots, and the occasional pied-billed grebe.

Note: To access the site, a Restore the Wild Membership, Virginia hunting license, freshwater fishing license, boat registration, or an access permit is required.

The shoreline and woods around the boat landing are alive with red-bellied and hairy woodpeckers sculpting their next wooden masterpiece. Also check the noisy flocks of Carolina chickadees and tufted titmice for migrant warblers such as, black-throated green and black-throated blue, as well as other passersby such as, Carolina wren or a wintering yellow-bellied sapsucker. Rounding out the colorful mosaic are various butterflies, such as the red-spotted purples and question marks that can be seen in open moist areas around the edges of the lake’s boat landing.

To Access Site: A Virginia hunting license, freshwater fishing license, boat registration, or access permit is required.


From US-15 in Palmyra, head south for 0.4 miles. Turn right onto VA-53 West towards Cunningham. In Cunningham, look for Public Fishing Lake signs on Rt. 53 and follow to the lake, making a left onto State Rt 619/ Ruritan Lake Rd. Continue for 3.3 miles, then turn right and continue to lake.

From the Previous Site on the Monticello & Rivanna Loop of VBWT:

From Scheier Natural Area, return to Rt. 639 and turn left. Follow this a short distance to Rt. 680. Turn left on Rt. 680 (north) and continue for 2.2 miles to Rt. 619. Turn left on Rt. 619 and proceed to the entrance to the lake and boat ramp on your right.

Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: DGIF Region 4 Offices: 540-899-4169 (Fredricksburg), 540-248-9360 (Verona), BirdingTrail@dgif.virginia.gov
  • Website
  • Access: Open daily. Restore the Wild Membership, hunting license, freshwater fishing license, boat registration, or an access permit is required.

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Parking
  • Kayak/Canoe Launch
  • Boat Ramp