Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge

Wells Island near Sistersville, WV, Tyler County, Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge, Mid-Ohio Valley Region
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 -- Wheeling, WV

Marshall County
Captina Island -- southwest of Moundsville, WV
Fish Creek Island -- southwest of Moundsville, WV

Wetzel County
Paden Island -- north of Paden City, WV

Tyler County
Williamson Island -- west of Paden City, WV
Witten Towhead Island -- southwest of Paden City, WV
Crab Island -- Sistersville, WV
Wells Island -- southwest of Sistersville, WV
Mill Creek Island -- northeast of Friendly, WV
Grandview Island -- west of Friendly, WV

Pleasants County
Grape Island -- northeast of Saint Marys, WV
Middle Island -- Saint Marys, WV
Broadback Island -- Belmont, WV

Wood County
Buckley Island -- northwest of Williamstown, WV
Muskingum Island -- Boaz, WV
Neal Island -- Vienna, WV

Jackson County
Buffington Island -- north of Ravenswood, WV

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
ORINWR Wildlife Service Information

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.