Updates Related to COVID-19 »

Western Branch Reservoir

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.

Description

Much of the 53-acre Western Branch Reservoir is currently inaccessible to outdoor enthusiasts except by boat.

Land birds can be readily seen along the lake edges, and the reservoir is visited by a variety of puddle ducks, including wood ducks, during winter.

NOTE:

A Boat Permit from the City of Norfolk is required to launch a boat from this site. Please obtain ahead of your visit as these are not available for sale onsite.

Directions

Physical Address: 4601 Girl Scout Dr, Suffolk, VA 23434

The Western Branch Reservoir can be accessed via a boat ramp off SR 633 (Girl Scout Dr) north of the Lake Prince Pumping Station.

From I-264 in Virginia Beach/Norfolk, continue west and over the Berkley Bridge in Downtown Norfolk. Follow signs for I-264 W/Downtown Tunnel/Portsmouth. In 7.1 miles, take exit 1 for I-664 toward US 13/US 58/US 460/Bowers Hill/Suffolk/Richmond and continue on I-664 N for 0.7 miles. Take exit 13A/B to merge onto US 13 S/US 58 W toward US 460 W/Suffolk. In 11.3 miles, take the US 460 exit toward Peterburg. Turn right onto US 460 W/Pruden Blvd. In 2.0 miles, turn right (north) onto Lake Prince Dr/SR 604 and continue for 0.8 miles. Turn right (northeast) onto Girl Scout Dr/SR 633 and continue for 1.5 miles until the entrance appears to the right just before a bend in the road.

From I-95 in Richmond/Petersburg, continue south. Take exit 47 for SR 629/Rives Rd and turn left (east). In 1.9 miles, turn right to stay on SR 629 E. Then, turn right onto US 460 E and continue for 47.5 miles. Turn left (north) onto Lake Prince Dr/SR 604 and continue for 0.8 miles. Turn right (northeast) onto Girl Scout Dr/SR 633 and continue for 1.5 miles until the entrance appears to the right just before a bend in the road.

From the previous site on the Suffolk Loop of the VBWT:

From Lake Burnt Mills, turn right (west) onto Everets Rd/SR 603 and continue for 0.7 miles. Then, turn left (southwest) onto Lake Prince Dr/SR 604. In 0.9 miles, turn left onto Milners Rd/SR 605 and continue for 1.4 miles. Slight right onto Girl Scout Dr/SR 633 and continue for 0.3 miles. The entrance to the boat ramp will appear to the left just past the bend.

Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: (757) 441-5678, david.rosenthal@norfolk.gov
  • Website
  • Season:
  • Access: Fee for a Boat Permit, Daily

Seasonal Bird Observations

Facilities

  • Parking
  • Restrooms
  • Kayak/Canoe Launch
  • Site Viewable Only By Boat
  • Boat Ramp