Updates Related to COVID-19 »

Rapidan 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.

Important Notices For This Site

Rapidan WMA – Middle River Tract – 4WD Vehicle RecommendedPublic vehicular access to the Rapidan WMA has been restored to the Middle River Tract via Route 615/Bluff Mountain Road. However, it is strongly recommended that anyone wanting to drive into this area should do so with a 4WD vehicle due to the existing conditions. Foot traffic is still allowed throughout the tract. DGIF and a number of partners have worked together to improve access to the Rapidan Tract. Even with these improvements, it is still a good idea to use a 4WD vehicle to reach this part of the WMA.


Elevation: 1556 ft.

The Rapidan Wildlife Management Area (WMA) provides access to the eastern slopes of the Blue Ridge abutting Shenandoah National Park. The WMA is composed of six large tracts, not all of which are accessible by car. Several of the tracts are connected to Skyline Drive via fire roads and hiking trails. Rapidan WMA provides access to some of the more pristine parts of the eastern Blue Ridge, taking the wildlife enthusiast away from the sometimes-crowded Skyline Drive. Species to be encountered in this area are similar to those seen from a distance along the drive including many woodpecker species, flycatchers, vireos, white-breasted nuthatch, eastern bluebird, gray catbird, black-and-white, hooded, and worm-eating warblers, ovenbird, American redstart, scarlet tanager and eastern towhee. Butterflies are also numerous and eastern tiger, black, pipevine, spicebush swallowtails, great spangled and variegated fritillaries, red-spotted purple and a variety of skippers and azures can all be found easily.


  • 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.


From the Nearest Town:

From SR 29 (south of Madison), follow SR 230 west to Wolftown. From there follow SR 662 to Graves Mill and continue on SR 615 all the way to the management area.

From the Previous Site on the Skyline Drive Loop of VBWT:

From South River Falls Trail, continue south on Skyline Drive for 2.7 miles to the intersection of Skyline Drive and US 33. Turn left and travel east 7.7 miles to US 33 Business into Stanardsville. Follow US 33 Business 1.1 miles to SR 230; turn left and go 7.2 miles to Rt. 662. Turn left onto Rt. 662 and travel 5.3 miles to Rt. 615; turn left and continue 2.4 miles to parking area on right.

Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: DWR Region 4 Offices: 540-899-4169 (Fredricksburg), 540-248-9360 (Verona), BirdingTrail@dwr.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

  • Mourning Dove
  • Chimney Swift
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Northern Flicker
  • Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • Great Crested Flycatcher

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Hiking Trails
  • Parking