West Virginia Map

Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge

Contact Info
National Wildlife Refuge System
HC 70
PO Box 200
Davis, WV 26260



The Canaan Valley, with an altitude of 3,200 feet, is 14 miles long and 3 miles wide, and the highest valley of its size east of the Rocky Mountains. Climate and habitats are typical of areas much further north, and the plants and animals are unusual for the latitude. Many Valley species are at or near the southernmost edge of their ranges. Drained by the Blackwater River and its tributaries, Canaan Valley contains the largest freshwater wetland area in West Virginia and the central and southern Appalachians.

More than 580 plant species are known, and there are 40 distinct plant communities, including swamp forests, alder thickets, marshes and bogs. These habitats support equally diverse wildlife populations, with 290 species of vertebrates known to occur. Nationally recognized as a breeding and fall migration area for the American woodcock, the Refuge area also supports many other migratory bird species. The Valley supports the threatened Cheat Mountain salamander and the endangered West Virginia northern flying squirrel.

Canaan Valley NWR is located in Tucker County, West Virginia. The Refuge was established in 1994 to preserve the unique wetlands and uplands of this high elevation, moist valley. Currently, the refuge consists of 15,245 acres. An additional 10, 214 acres are within its acquisition boundary. The acquisition boundary encompasses most of the wetlands and unique habitats of the valley.

Map + Directions

Basic Directions

The refuge office and visitor center is located on highway 32, 9 miles north of Harman and six miles south of Davis, West Virginia. Refuge access points are found on Freeland Road, Cortland Road, Old Timberline Road, Camp 70 Road and A-frame Road.

Customizable Directions

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