Places We Protect

Voorhees Nature Preserve

Virginia

Three people walk past a picnic table following a leaf covered path into a thick green forest. A yellow and green trail blaze sign nailed to a tree marks the way forward.
Voorhees Preserve Voorhees Preserve offers trails with scenic views of the Rappahannock River, including two overlook spots. © Daniel White / TNC

Enjoy four miles of wooded trails and scenic views of the Rappahannock River.

Overview

Description

Voorhees Preserve was donated to TNC in 1994 by the late Alan M. and Nathalie Voorhees. Part of a network of conservation lands along the Rappahannock River—a major tributary of the Chesapeake Bay—the preserve provides excellent habitat for bald eagles and other wildlife.

For many years the preserve was open seasonally, from late spring to early fall. Voorhees is now open to visitors year-round, thanks to the generous support and on-the-ground leadership of volunteer Jeff Wright. Working with the Virginia stewardship team, Wright spearheaded the design and construction of a new parking area, entrance trail and spur overlooking scenic beaver ponds. Wright and his wife, Kathy, also helped fund the project.

Access

OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Dogs are not allowed at this preserve.

Hours

Open daily, dawn to dusk.

Highlights

Hiking, birding. Bald eagles, ospreys and migratory songbirds are abundant.

Size

729 acres

Explore our work in Virginia

Visit Voorhees Nature Preserve

  • Access

    Voorhees Nature Preserve offers trails with scenic views of the Rappahannock River, including two overlook spots.  The preserve is adjacent to the Rappahannock River Valley National Wildlife Refuge, which TNC has worked to expand with help from diverse partners. 

    CONDITIONS

    There are four miles of wooded trails for self-guided walks. The difficulty level is moderate. 

  • What to See

     

    WHAT TO SEE: ANIMALS

    Voorhees is a part of the Virginia Bird and Wildlife Trail. Bald eagles, ospreys and migratory songbirds are abundant. Bring binoculars!

    WHAT TO SEE: PLANTS

    A mature hardwood forest covers the uplands. Flowering wetland plants enliven Owl Hollow marsh, especially during springtime.

A ray of sun flares through a split in an old tree.
Letting the Light In Spring sunlight peeks through a split and gnarled tree at Virginia's Voorhees Preserve. © Danny White

Volunteer Spotlight

Witness to the Extraordinary

by Stacey Remick-Simkins

Sometimes a moment captures my heart, mind and soul and reminds me that I am a witness to the extraordinary.

I visited Voorhees Preserve for the first time in October 2020 to celebrate its induction into the Old Growth Forest Network’s family of nationally protected old-growth forests. Voorhees’ woodland trails transport visitors to vistas overlooking the Rappahannock River. My fall hike led me to the foot of the two kissing trees.

I turned right at a fork in the trail, venturing down into a richly forested ravine. I discovered an oak tree that had grown out across the chasm and intertwined with a birch tree. The oak appeared to be supporting the birch, preventing it from falling off the slope and into the creek below. The two trees were connected by what looked like a kiss sealing a bond of friendship. It reminded me of recent studies documenting altruism among plant life, particularly trees. I touched the oak, gazing up and reflecting on the years it took for this connection to grow and solidify. 

There are many such stories to tell within TNC’s preserves. It is in reverence to these extraordinary moments that I have dedicated myself to preserve stewardship. If we take the time to wonder and cherish these places—care for them like these trees care for each other—we can contribute to something far greater than we can know. Partnering as a preserve steward supports TNC’s vital, ongoing work to preserve and protect these natural treasures for generations to come.

Stacey Remick-Simkins has been a TNC volunteer for six years and is a preserve steward at Fraser Preserve in Great Falls, Virginia. She also spends time at Falls Ridge and Voorhees Preserves and has a goal to visit all of TNC’s public access preserves in Virginia.

Interested in joining our preserve volunteer program? Contact vapreservestewards@tnc.org for more information and learn how you can connect with nature.

Expand to see more Collapse to see less
Voorhees Preserve (1:28) Voorhees Nature Preserve offers trails with scenic views of the Rappahannock River, including two overlook spots.
Shield logo of the Virginia Deparment of Wildlife Resources showing outlines of a deer, bird in flight and jumping fish. Text next to the shield reads Bird & Wildlife Trail.
Virginia Bird and Wildlife Trail Discover our wild side!

Voorhees Preserve is part of the Virginia Bird & Wildlife Trail, an organized network of outdoor sites highlighting the best places to see birds and wildlife in the commonwealth.

Stay in Touch

Subscribe to Nature News, our monthly e-newsletter. Get the latest news and updates about our conservation efforts both locally and around the world, delivered straight to your inbox.

Find More Places We Protect

The Nature Conservancy owns nearly 1,500 preserves covering more than 2.5 million acres across all 50 states. These lands protect wildlife and natural systems, serve as living laboratories for innovative science and connect people to the natural world.

See the Complete Map