Whitney State Forest


Overview

The 148-acre Whitney State Forest is located in Fauquier County. Management focuses on demonstration of scientific forest management, applied forest research, diverse wildlife habitat, watershed protection, forest management to develop diverse timber stands that support biological diversity, and opportunities for passive outdoor recreation.

Fauquier silt loam is the primary soil type found throughout the forest, encompassing approximately 80% of the total area. This soil is defined as a well-drained, moderately acidic soil with an above average productivity rating for tree growth when compared to other soils commonly found in this region. Several intermittent and perennial streams exist on the property.


At a Glance

Access Status: Open to the Public
Hours: Open daily from dawn until dusk

Physical Address:
Latitude/Longitude:
6.672264, 77.805460
Approximately 3 miles south of Warrenton, on the west side of Route 684.

Parking/Access: One small parking area at the entrance on Route 684.

Restroom Facilities: None

Visitors are asked to adopt a “leave-no-trace” ethic when visiting the forest, as there are no restrooms or trash cans on the forest itself. ​ ​

Other Facilities: None

Seasonal Closures: The forest is occasionally closed for a managed lottery deer hunt.

Forest History
The property was originally known as the “Hooewood” tract and was part of the “North Wales Estate,” which still borders the property on the north, west, and southwest sides. In 1865, Henry Ashton deeded the property to his daughter, Ellen Ashton. Subsequent transfer deeds passed the property to the most recent heir and donator of the property, Mrs. Helen Whitney Gibson, in 1937.

The Whitney became a state forest in 1972, by gift from Mrs. Gibson in memory of her parents, Charles and Alice Whitney.

Historical Landmarks

The old stone house remnants on the forest were part of the home of Henry Washington Ashton.

Forest Management
Management objectives for the Whitney State Forest have been developed to achieve multiple-use benefits. These benefits include demonstration of silvicultural treatments, forest research, forest health, enhanced wildlife management, recreation, environmental education, improved water quality, and revenue generation. Some specific objectives include managing for long-range mature oak/hickory forest, controlling invasive species, and establishing and managing native shortleaf pine.
Recreational Opportunities
Popular recreational uses of the Whitney State Forest include hiking and mountain biking.

At a Glance

Visitors are asked to adopt a “leave-no-trace” ethic when visiting the forest, as there are no restrooms or trash cans on the forest itself. ​ ​

ATV/ORV use, camping, and swimming are prohibited on all State Forests.

A State Forest Use Permit* is required for individuals aged 16 and older to hunt, fish, trap, horseback ride, or mountain bike on state forest lands. The permit can be purchased online at or where hunting licenses are sold.

Trails and Roads

  • 7 miles of forest trails – no vehicles
  • 1 mile of gated forest roads – no vehicles

Hiking

Hiking is permitted on all forest roads and trails.

Mountain Biking *

Mountain biking is permitted on forest roads and trails.

Horseback Riding *

Horseback riding is permitted on all forest roads and trails. There is limited parking available for horse trailers.

State law requires that visitors carry a copy of a negative Coggins test report with each horse on state lands.

Fishing and Boating

None

Hunting and Trapping

A lottery hunt is occasionally conducted. Hunting with lottery permit, valid State Forest Use Permit, and valid hunting license in accordance with state regulations. Note that some regulations may be different than on private land, so check Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources Hunting Regulations for specific state forest details.

Other Recreational Opportunities

Other passive recreational opportunities, such as wildlife watching and nature photography, are available.

Educational Opportunities
  • Self-learning opportunities are available.
  • Self-guided educational opportunities – interpretive signs.

Explore tree and wildlife identification, or simply observe nature. The forest demonstrates forest management, harvesting techniques, and best management practices to landowners, loggers, and industry professionals.

Local schools can use the state forest for educational purposes.

Contact Us
For more information or questions, e-mail us or use our contact form.

State Forest Main Office
Located at Cumberland State Forest
751 Oak Hill Road, Cumberland, VA 23040-2511
E-mail | (804) 492-4121

Maps and Additional Resources
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