What You Need to Know About the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge

Over 9,000 beautiful acres await you at the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Virginia! Whether you’re looking to reconnect with nature, help with conservation efforts, or simply enjoy some time in the great outdoors, we’ll show you the way! Discover the best activities for your day at the refuge, and see our tips to make the most of the experience. Just don’t forget to read through our free Vacation Guide before your visit. It’s full of more must-see attractions near the Hope and Glory Inn!

Explore the Northern Neck!

What Is the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge?

Simply put, it’s a haven for wildlife and a source of fascination for the general public. The refuge consists of several separate areas, or units, along the Rappahannock River with the headquarters in Warsaw, Virginia. The diverse, protected habitats attract a wide variety of animals and plant life, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works tirelessly to conserve it all.

What Are the Best Things to Do There?

The possibilities are nearly endless! The Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge is ideal for wildlife observation, hiking, fishing, photography, hunting, and environmental education. We highly recommend saving some time to check out the Laurel Grove unit during your stay at the Hope and Glory Inn. It’s only about 30 minutes away, just north of Belle Isle State Park, and it’s open every day from sunrise to sunset. Plus, admission is free!

Aspiring anglers will be happy to find a beautiful, ten-acre freshwater pond waiting for them at Laurel Grove. You’re welcome to cast your line directly from the bank of the dam or head out onto the water via a small boat launch. Don’t forget to walk along the nature trails while you’re there, too!

Know Before You Go: Please visit the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s website to ensure you comply with all relevant rules and regulations during your visit.

What Will I See Along the Way?

This outdoor attraction is, first and foremost, a wildlife refuge. As long as you are respectful of the protected habitats, you’re in for a delightful adventure through nature! The Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge is home to upland forests, grasslands, and tidal marshes with a variety of inhabitants. Here are some of the animals you might see out and about in the area:

  • Bald eagles
  • Louisiana waterthrush
  • Yellow-throated vireo
  • Scarlet tanager
  • Green tree frogs
  • Gray foxes
  • And, many more!

Tip: Visit in the wintertime for the best chance of spotting bald eagles and waterfowl. In the spring, you can find several long-distance migratory birds finding rest here.

Stay Nearby at the Hope and Glory Inn

The bed inside Room 6 at the Hope and Glory Inn

If you’re looking to get the full Northern Neck experience, make sure you stay at the Hope and Glory Inn! Our award-winning inn is nestled in the beautiful community of Irvington, VA, which is full of small-town charm, several incredible restaurants, and must-see attractions. Plus, we’re just a short drive away from scenic destinations like the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge!

After your adventures, come back to the Hope & Glory Inn and Vineyard to experience pure relaxation. Here, you can enjoy gourmet meals, medal-winning wines, and even boat cruises along Carter’s Creek! Of course, we offer the finest accommodations as well!

Browse our uniquely decorated rooms and cottages and treat yourself to the luxury you deserve at the Hope and Glory Inn!


Summer Lodging & Dining Special!

Stay & Dine

Book between now & May 31 two nights (Thursday-Sunday) this Summer along with a dinner reservation for 2 in our fine dining restaurant The Colonnade and receive a $50 credit to your folio upon check out!