Hog Island Wildlife Management Area


A visit to Hog Island Wildlife Management Area takes a little preparation, but it’s well worth the effort!  

The Wildlife Management Area (WMA) is open to the public from sunrise to sunset seasonally.  It is important for guests to remember that this is a waterfowl habitat and not a park.  In the Spring, from mid-March through May, visitors to Hog Island can spot bald eagles, heron, osprey, and other majestic birds.  From March 15th through the month of August, the WMA is open for fishing, hiking, birdwatching, and outdoor photography.  During winter months, guests may enter Hog Island (remaining on the main road) on Sundays only. 

Know Before You Go:

Guests should be aware that their vehicle must pass through a stringent security checkpoint because of the proximity to the Surry Nuclear Power Station.   Well trained security personnel will ask you to vacate your vehicle as they search it for alcohol, illegal substances, and weapons.  It is also necessary for guests to purchase an access permit in advance of their visit.   The access permit costs $23 and is good for a whole year for admission to all Virginia WMA’s.

Go to the Hog Island WMA website for additional information, to buy fishing licenses and access permits, find announcements, waterfowl blind site locations, and driving directions to Hog Island.  OR, download the app: GoOutdoorsVA

Hog Island derives its name from the 17th century practice by English settlers of allowing hogs to forage at the tip of a peninsula jutting into the lower James River.   Today, this "island" is the largest of several tracts that make up the Hog Island Wildlife Management Area.  Here waterfowl are attracted, often by the thousands, to forage and rest on the tidal marshes, diked impoundments, and planted fields.  Visitors may also see eagles, osprey, an array of shorebirds, and even upland wildlife species on some parts of the area.

Hog Island Wildlife Management Area is a mixture of 3,908 acres of flat open land with pine forests interspersed with tidal marshes and controlled ponds; Hog Island itself encompasses roughly 1,900 acres. Maintained by the State of Virginia, it’s ideal for bird watching, fishing, hiking, or scheduled game hunts.

A heronAn osprey nest