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Zoar State Forest


This forest comprises 378 acres that were once part of a large estate at Aylett, which was considered at the time to be the “wickedest place of its size in this part of the world.” Two self-guided nature trails provide excellent access to the forest.

The 2-mile Main Forest Trail is located on the larger, southern portion of the Forest. Forest roads demonstrate wildlife and forest management practices and educate visitors about the creation of edge habitat, disking plots, grass plantings, as well as pine and hardwood management.

The 1.4-mile Nature Trail is located at the northern end of the property on West River Rd/ Rt. 600 and has 2 loops. The Mattaponi Bluffs loop (1 mile) meanders through upland and bottomland forests, crosses wetlands, and offers gorgeous views of the Mattaponi River. The Herring Creek loop (0.4 mile) offers views of Herring Creek and bottomland hardwoods while winding through upland hardwood forests. The Mattaponi Bluffs loop occasionally floods in late winter and early spring. The wetland ponds and streams provide additional wildlife watching habitat.

A canoe ramp is provided on Herring Creek at the Nature Trail. Paddling from this ramp, approximately 4 miles down the Mattaponi River to the Department of Wildlife Resources boat landing at Aylett takes about 2.5 to 4 hours. Information about outfitters is available upon request from the State Forest.


Physical Addresses

Main Forest Trail: 4445 Upshaw Road, Aylett, Virginia 23009

Nature Trail and canoe ramp: 9400-9516 W River Rd, Aylett, VA 23009

From the Previous Site on the Mattaponi Loop of the VBWT:

From the Walkerton Boat Landing, return to Walkerton Road/Rt. 629; follow this road across the Mattaponi River and continue south for approximately 2.0 miles to SR 30. Turn right on SR 30 and travel approximately 4.0 miles to Rt. 600/River Road. Turn right onto Rt. 600/River Road and follow it for 4.5 miles to US 360. Continue on Rt. 600 across US 360 and bear left immediately on Rt. 608/Upshaw; follow it for 0.2 miles to the entrance on the right.

Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: (804) 966-2209
  • Website
  • Access: Free, Daily

Birds Recently Seen at Zoar State Forest (as reported to eBird)

  • Mourning Dove
  • Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  • Red-headed Woodpecker
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • White-eyed Vireo
  • Carolina Chickadee
  • Chipping Sparrow
  • Eastern Towhee
  • Yellow-breasted Chat

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Bike Trails
  • Hiking Trails
  • Parking
  • Picnic
  • Kayak/Canoe Launch