VOF Reserves

Rockfish Reserve

Nelson County

Nearly a mile of frontage along the scenic Rockfish River.

This 86-acre reserve in Nelson County is almost entirely wooded, with approximately 80% of the forest ranked as high conservation value by the Virginia Department of Forestry. The primary water feature of the Rockfish Reserve is the Rockfish River, which forms the reserve’s eastern boundary for approximately 9/10 of a mile. The property has significant frontage along Rockfish River Road (State Route 617), which is a designated State Scenic Byway. This portion of Rockfish River Road is also part of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail –James River Loop, which encourages wildlife viewing by the traveling public.

The Nature Conservancy’s Terrestrial Portfolio includes this area of Nelson County within the Sugarloaf Mountain/Rockfish/Shield Gap Priority Conservation Area. The portion of the Rockfish River adjacent to the property is listed by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) as a potential scenic river and it is contiguous to a designated portion of the Rockfish River. The DGIF Fish and Wildlife Information Service lists twelve threatened or endangered species with ranges in proximity to the property, including the James Spinymussel and the Easter Tiger Salamander.

Rockfish is a recent addition to VOF’s open-space reserves and we will be undertaking a long-term planning process to determine the best course for protecting the conservation values and providing public access to this property.

The property was conveyed to VOF in 2017 to satisfy statutory requirements as substitute land for the conversion of open-space associated with the proposed crossing of a privately owned open-space easement in Nelson County by the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The property’s conservation values of water quality, forest cover, scenic quality and wildlife habitat recommended it for protection as open-space.

This reserve is not currently open to the public except by written permission from VOF. Please contact us if you would like to arrange a visit for educational, research, or scientific purposes; however, please note that access to the site is extremely limited at this time. If you would like to view the property from Rockfish River Road (SR 617) as part of the DGIF Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail, you can find information about the James River Loop here.

This reserve is not currently open to the public except by written permission from VOF. Please contact us if you would like to arrange a visit for educational, research, or scientific purposes.

For questions about the Rockfish Reserve, please contact Harry Hibbitts at hhibbitts@vof.org.