Crow's Nest Natural Area Preserve

Crow's Nest Natural Area Preserve Located in Stafford County, Virginia, Crow's Nest Natural Area Preserve is a highly significant and
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The protection of Crow's Nest has been one of Virginia's highest land conservation priorities for more than ten years. In July 2009, the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation added 1,110 acres to the Crow's Nest Natural Area Preserve. This brought the total Preserve acreage of Virginia's 54th state natural area preserve to 2,872 acres. Funding for this purchase came from a variety of

sources including DCR, Stafford County, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the Aquatic Resources Trust fund of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, The Nature Conservancy, and the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation. Crow's Nest is a highly significant and beautiful place and the topography of Crow's Nest is quite varied. The high, narrow peninsula rises 160 feet above the tidally influenced Potomac and Accokeek Creeks, and is deeply dissected on both its northern and southern sides by a series of ravines cutting steeply down to the bordering creeks. The Crow's Nest Natural Area Preserve supports:

750 acres of tidal and non-tidal wetlands. The wetlands on the Crow's Nest peninsula account for 60 percent of all the marshes in Stafford County, and represent some of the best examples of diverse and intact wetland habitats in the Potomac River drainage.

21 miles of stream, riparian and wetland buffer; 2,200 acres of mature hardwood forest including two forest types that are recognized as globally rare by DCR's Natural Heritage Program; nesting bald eagles, habitat for the federally listed short-nose sturgeon, and habitat for twenty-two plant species that are significant for the Coastal Plain of Virginia; habitat for about 60 species of neotropical migratory songbirds, nearly 60 percent of which are experiencing population declines, including ten species that are high global priority species of Partners In Flight; spawning, nursery and/or feeding habitat for 49 species of interjurisdictional fish and seven species of mussels and commercially valuable shellfish; a property that has played an important role in the Native American, Colonial and Civil War histories in Virginia.

01/29/2022

Staff checked our entrance road off Raven Road this morning and determined that it is too slippery too open today. With temperatures not expected to get above freezing today the road will likely remain icy through tomorrow.

01/15/2022

The Raven Road at Crow's Nest will be closed tomorrow, January 16th for public and staff safety because of the forecast for a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain. Stay safe and hope to see you on the trails soon!

01/13/2022

The Raven Road entrance will be open again tomorrow, January 14. There is still snow and ice on the bridges/boardwalks so please walk with care. The preserve may be closed again on Sunday, January 16 depending on the weather forecast.

01/07/2022

Crow's Nest Natural Area Preserve will remain closed through the weekend (1/8-1/9/2022) to allow staff to assess and clear the trails. Stay safe.

10/30/2021

Both the Brooke and Raven Road lots at Crow's Nest have been re-opened. Please be aware that sections of trails are still wet, particularly along the Accokeek Overlook Trail accessible from the Brooke Road lot.

10/29/2021

Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve is closed today, October 29, for safety reasons. High water has inundated sections of hiking trails as well as the canoe launch boardwalk. Flooding may also occur along Brooke Road. The Preserve will be assessed tomorrow and re-opened if safe.

02/20/2021

Unfortunately, the sleet and freezing drizzle of Thursday into Friday morning have left the entrance roads and trails at Crow's Nest very icy. Both entrances are currently closed and will be re-accessed later today. Hopefully, this will be the last winter storm of the season!

02/13/2021

For safety reasons, Crow's Nest will be closed today (both gates). There is a significant risk of tree damage if the forecast for freezing rain verifies. Stay safe!

02/12/2021

The Crow's Nest gates are closed this morning because of last night's snow. The situation will be evaluated later today to determine if it's safe to open.

02/04/2021

The Raven Road entrance at Crow's Nest is closed this morning, February 4, 2021. Cold temperatures overnight created icy conditions along the entrance road and it is unsafe to drive. The road will be re-accessed this afternoon and opened if conditions improve.

01/31/2021

Crow's Nest will be closed today, January 31, because of the weather and safety concerns. Stay safe and enjoy the snow!

12/03/2020

The spur trail down to wildlife observation blind off the Accokeek Loop Trail will be closed from today through Sunday to allow for management activities along the creek. Thank you for your cooperation.

11/23/2020

Just a reminder that the Crow's Nest Brooke Road parking lot will be closed tomorrow, Monday November 13 for waterfowl hunting.

11/20/2020
11/12/2020

The Brooke Road parking lot is closed this morning, Friday, November 12 because of flooding along Brooke Road.

10/29/2020

The Raven Road entrance gate at Crow's Nest was closed early today, October 29th because of high water issues along Brooke Road. The preserve will open again October 29 if road conditions improve.

09/28/2020

As in past years, to minimize user conflict the Brooke Road parking lot at Crow's Nest will be closed on the following Mondays during the 2020/2021 waterfowl hunt season: September 28, October 12, November 23, December 21 & 28, and January 4, 11, 18 and 25.

11/22/2019

In order to minimize user conflict during the waterfowl hunting season, the Brooke Road parking lot at Crow's Nest will be closed Monday, November 25.

05/19/2019

There are two access options for visitors to Crow's Nest Natural Area Preserve. The Raven Road Access point features an 18-car parking area and 8 miles of hiking trails within the forested interior of Crow's Nest via an improved 1.6-mile long entrance road. The Raven Road Access is open Thursday-Sunday. The Brooke Road Access point offers parking for 20 cars, a shoreline birding/nature trail to viewpoints of Accokeek Creek, and an ADA-accessible canoe/kayak launch facility serving as a trailhead for the Crow's Nest Water Trail. The Brooke Road Access is open 7 days a week.

Public Access Hours:

March 15 - October 31: 8:00 AM until 8:00 PM
November 1 - March 14: 8:00 AM until 5:30 PM

How many of these Great Blue Herons on the Rappahannock River today do you think nest at Crow’s Nest?
05/10/2019

How many of these Great Blue Herons on the Rappahannock River today do you think nest at Crow’s Nest?

Perhaps the largest great blue heron colony in the Chesapeake Bay region is located in Stafford County.That message was ...
05/02/2019

Perhaps the largest great blue heron colony in the Chesapeake Bay region is located in Stafford County.

That message was joyously shared among those gathered at a Tuesday morning ceremony at the Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve, thanks to a 70-acre heronry easement that was donated to the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation by the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust. While the underlying property is still owned by NVCT, the heronry is now officially part of the Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve.

Perhaps the largest great blue heron colony in the Chesapeake Bay region is located in Stafford County.

05/02/2019
05/01/2019
Every dollar matters and every dollar will go straight to our amazing bee team's effort to inventory and better protect ...
04/10/2019

Every dollar matters and every dollar will go straight to our amazing bee team's effort to inventory and better protect these pollinators for all the services we need from them.

I serve on Virginia's Board of Conservation and Recreation and have been greatly impressed with the remarkable science-based conservation work of the Virginia Natural Heritage Program, within the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). While they receive some state funding, projects lik...

Hey, look who made the cover of the 2019 Fredericksburg Region Visitors Guide!
03/16/2019

Hey, look who made the cover of the 2019 Fredericksburg Region Visitors Guide!

Falcon Cam!
03/05/2019

Falcon Cam!

Subscribe to Get the Latest Nest Updates What’s Happening at the Nest? March 4, 2019Meet the New Pair!March 1, 2019A New Year and a New PairAugust 31, 2018Juvenile Falcon Hailing from Baltimore Spotted in RichmondRead more updates in the archive… Internet service to the Falcon Cam provided court...

02/22/2019

On February 8, Michael Lott, Northern Regional Supervisor and Blake Gostelow, Northern Region Natural Area Stewardship Technician, completed the annual great blue heron nest count within the Potomac Creek Heronry at Crow’s Nest Natural Area Preserve(http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/natural-heritage/natural-area-preserves/crowsnest). Stafford County and the Northern Virginia Conservation Trust (NVCT) staff assisted. The heronry is located primarily on a NVCT-owned tract dedicated as a new addition to the preserve in 2018. A total of 220 heron nests were counted this year – a decrease from 258 a year ago. This decrease may reflect impacts from strong storms during summer 2018, plus a high wind event in the fall that blew some nests from their trees. DCR Natural Heritage staff plan a second survey in April using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Results will be compared with the ground-based count to refine methods for monitoring heron nesting activity.

02/19/2019

Northern Virginia Conservation Trust teamed up with Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation and Stafford County's Planning and Zoning Department f...

Address

Raven Road
Stafford, VA
22554

Opening Hours

Thursday 8am - 5:30pm
Friday 8am - 5:30pm
Saturday 8am - 5:30pm
Sunday 8am - 5:30pm

Telephone

(540) 658-8690

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Comments

Hey there, I was wondering if someone could put up a sign or something when the raven rd area will be closed or won’t open on time. We have gone twice in a row at opening time and it wasn’t open. Another option would be to post an update on this page. We are regulars and go at opening time daily so are caught off guard when it’s closed. Thanks!
Very disturbed to see beavers being trapped and killed and dams destroyed at Crow's Nest. There are alternatives if the beavers are causing the flooding of Brooke Road. And how can it be said with certainty that the beavers are at fault? Regardless, there are alternatives.
It's National Estuaries Week! What are some of your favourite estuaries, streams, or creeks to visit? As the weather cools down, we love hanging out at Crow's Nest Natural Area Preserve in Stafford County where you can go birding and kayaking at the beautiful wetland!

are there public restrooms available?
We love our hidden treasures in the greater Fredericksburg area 💚 What better way to celebrate than by visiting these spots?

1. Crow's Nest Natural Area Preserve
2. Lake Anna State Park
3. Downtown Greens Inc.
4. Caledon State Park
5. Motts Run Reservoir
6. Widewater State Park

Share in the comments below your favourite hidden treasures! 👇🌳💚
Is the Raven Road access to Crow’s Nest open today?
Good morning 🌞
How far of a walk is it from the Brooke Road Parking lot to the pier to launch a kayak? And assume it is simple to launch by putting your kayak onto the launch system. Thanks for the info!
Please tell us when the lotus flowers are blooming!
Great place to kayak!
There were a lot of birds at the preserve yesterday...I wish I had a longer lens though....lots of ducks in the distance.
Is the preserve open today? I can see the Raven’s access point is closed but Brooke Rd sounds like it is still open.
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