Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge

Wells Island near Sistersville, WV

Follows the Ohio River along the western boundary of West Virginia, the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge protects more than 3,000 acres of island, bottomland, and underwater habitat. Much of the refuge is open to fishing, hunting, photography, and wildlife observation.

The refuge headquarters and interpretive center near Williamstown, WV, is open from Monday through Friday, though hours vary seasonally. A 1.5-mile driving tour and more than 3.5 miles wildlife-observation trail have been developed on Middle Island, at Saint Marys, WV. Interpretive and environmental-education programs are hosted regularly. Hunters must possess a refuge permit. Refuge areas are open from one hour before sunrise until one hour after sunset. The Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge is managed by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Refuge Islands & Communities

Some or all of eighteen islands in the Ohio River in seven West Virginia counties are protected as part of the refuge. The refuge includes, from north (upstream) to southwest (downstream), the following islands and eyots:

Ohio County
Wheeling Island —

Marshall County
Captina Island — southwest of
Fish Creek Island — southwest of

Wetzel County
Paden Island — north of

Tyler County
Williamson Island — west of
Witten Towhead Island — southwest of
Crab Island — 
Wells Island — southwest of
Mill Creek Island — northeast of
Grandview Island — west of

Pleasants County
Grape Island — northeast of
Middle Island —
Broadback Island — 

Wood County
Buckley Island — northwest of
Muskingum Island — 
Neal Island — 

Jackson County
Buffington Island — north of

Mason County
Letart Island — southwest of Letart, WV

Three areas of bottomland on or near the Ohio River are also managed by the refuge. These include the wetlands and woodlands near the mouth of Buffalo Creek south of Wellsburg, WV, on the Ohio River upstream of Captina Island, and on the Ohio River opposite Buckley Island, where the refuge is headquartered.

Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge
3982 Waverly Road, Williamstown, WV 26187
Phone: (304) 375-2923

Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge
Regional Information

Further information on lodging, dining, and recreation in and near the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge may be found in our guides to travel in the Ohio river regions in which its  located. The northernmost islands are located in the Northern Pandhandle Region, the midmost, in the Mid-Ohio Valley Region, and the southernmost, in the Metro Valley Region.

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