Dragon Run State Forest

The 9,563-acre Dragon Run State Forest is located in King and Queen County, 15 miles north of West Point, and 20 miles southeast of Tappahannock. The property protects a significant water resource (Dragon Run Swamp) while allowing for traditional forest management activities.

As one of the Chesapeake Bay watershed’s most pristine waterways, the Dragon Run flows forty miles, northwest to southeast, along and through non-tidal and tidal bald cypress swamp situated in portions of Essex, King and Queen, Middlesex, and Gloucester counties that drain into the Piankatank River and out into the Chesapeake Bay. The Dragon Run plays a central role in the Middle Peninsula’s culture and identity. Natural resources - forestry and farming - have long been the bedrock of the watershed’s economy. These land uses, together with extensive swamps and unique natural resources, are the main reason that the Dragon Run remains wild and secluded.

The Dragon Run contains the northernmost example of the Baldcypress-Tupelo Swamp natural community in Virginia. Moreover, 25 rare species and 5 rare natural communities are found there. Based on his investigations of the watershed’s aquatic communities, one researcher observed that the Dragon Run is a “100 year old time capsule” resembling coastal plain streams of the Chesapeake Bay region at the turn of the 20th century.

  • Hunting: Permitted on the Dragon Run State Forest
  • Lat-Long: 37° 42’ 34.8”, 76° 48’ 26.9”
  • Map: Download a map of the Dragon Run State Forest (PDF format)

Use Permit | Parking/Hours | Recreation |Regulations

State Forest Use Permit

A State Forest Use Permit may be required for visitors to the state forests.

Parking/Hours of Operation

  • Open daily from dawn to dusk.
  • Email the forest personnel.

Recreation Opportunities

All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)

Motorized vehicles of any type are prohibited on all of the state forests.


Camping is not allowed.

Horseback Riding

Horses are permitted on the forest.

Coggins Test Certificates must be available for each horse on State lands.

We recommend that equestrians dismount and lead their horse over bridges and across streams.


Hunting is permitted on the Dragon Run State Forest. All persons, except those legally exempt under Virginia law, must carry a valid Virginia hunting license AND a State Forest Use Permit to hunt or trap on the forest.

State Forest hunting regulations and seasons follow those of the county in which the State Forest is located. Check the Virginia Department Of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) Hunting & Trapping Regulations and Information for special restrictions on State Forest lands, such as Either-Sex Deer Hunting Days.

Wear blaze orange during hunting season.

State Forest Regulations

To ensure your safety, read our complete state forest regulations before visiting a forest.

  • No removal of any tree, plant or mineral.
  • Remove all trash.
  • Motorized vehicles of any type are prohibited
  • No camping or public display of alcohol.
  • No fireworks, campfires or open air fires of any type.
  • Lawful firearms are permitted.
  • Hunting is permitted with a valid State Forest Use Permit and valid hunting license in accordance with state hunting regulations.
  • Fishing in designated areas only in accordance with state fishing regulations.
  • Gasoline motorized boats are not permitted.
  • Vehicular traffic on established roads only; not permitted on gated roads.

Last modified: Tuesday, 22-Oct-2019 11:51:48 EDT