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Lake Culpeper


A variety of wildlife may be viewed on Lake Pelham (also known as Lake Culpeper). Check around the reed edges for other species such as wood duck, American coot, and pied-billed grebe. During winter, the lake can often support rafts of American widgeon, gadwall, northern shoveler, and ruddy ducks, to name a few. The numerous dead snags in the area support belted kingfishers and may occasionally turn up an osprey. A good variety of landbirds is also present. Other wildlife to spot include eastern painted turtles, sunning themselves in large groups.  In warmer weather the shoreline is a favored spot by dragonflies such as prince baskettail, eastern pondhawk and common whitetail; these odonates are often joined by eastern tiger swallowtails, common buckeyes and the occasional American snout.


  • This site is included on the VBWT as a place to bird and view wildlife on the water. Watercraft rentals are available from Lake Culpeper Adventures. There are no walking trails.
  • A boating permit is required for visitors who don’t rent equipment from Lake Culpeper Adventures.



Physical Address: 18019 Country Store Drive, Culpeper, VA 22701

From James Madison Highway/US-15, merge onto James Monroe Highway/US-29 South toward Charlottesville, and the Lake Culpeper Adventures at The Ole Country Store & Bakery is on the right just past the bridge.

Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: Lake Culpeper Adventures: 540-547-4449
  • Website
  • Access: Fee for watercraft rentals and boating permit. Open daily seasonally - see website for hours

Birds Recently Seen at Lake Culpeper (as reported to eBird)

  • Mourning Dove
  • Blue Jay
  • American Crow
  • Fish Crow
  • Carolina Wren
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Indigo Bunting

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Fee
  • Food
  • Parking
  • Picnic
  • Restrooms
  • Kayak/Canoe Launch
  • Site Viewable Only By Boat
  • Canoe/Kayak Rentals
  • Boat Ramp