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Lytton John Musselman

Musselman Pages

Blackwater Ecological Preserve



See our new site here!

Welcome to the website of the Blackwater Ecologic (or Ecological)  Preserve, a three hundred plus acre site forty miles from the Old Dominion University Campus in Isle of Wight County, Virginia  which includes some of the rarest habitat types in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The preserve is part of the Zuni Pine Barrens Natural Area which has recently expanded to more than 1000 acres. Regulations for state natural areas apply at the Blackwater Preserve.

At this website you will find a list of all the known plants that occur at the site arranged alphabetically by scientific name; an overview of the geology, botanical history, and history of longleaf pine in Virginia; an essay on the preserve in the winter; and portions of the management plan of the Zuni Pine Barrens which includes the Blackwater Preserve. During the past several years, we have had some very successful prescribed burns. Check out the images of these.

Nicholas Flanders, preserve manager

04 April 2022

2023-24 Blackwater Hunting Dates

November 18, 2023 (Opening Day)
November 20-25, 2023 (First full week & Thanksgiving week)
November 28, 30, December 2, 5, 7, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 21, and 23, 2023 (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays)
December 25-30, 2023 (Christmas week)
January 1-6, 2024 (Last week)



The address of the main entrance to the Preserve is at 24326 Thomas Woods Trail, Zuni, Virginia 23898.  Use this address for MapQuest, GPS,  or similar programs.  

From Norfolk, take US 460 west across the Dismal Swamp; after crossing the Nansemond River take the second exit right (north) this is still 460. Go north 8.9 miles to US 258 (there is a Dairy Queen at this corner); go 0.6 miles south to SR 603. Stay on winding 603 for 6.3 miles to the junction of SR 614. The preserve is 0.6 miles on the left; look for the steel posts. If you choose to go to the preserve from the village of Zuni, turn west on SR 644 for 0.1 miles (under the railway) to SR 614. Turn left (south); the preserve is 4.2 miles on the right (2.0 miles from the Zuni Presbyterian training center).

Information on the Preserve, Articles, and Essays: