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  • Writer's pictureKaren Hogan

Ohio River Islands NWR June 2016

Updated: Dec 14, 2018

The Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge consist of 22 islands in the Ohio River. Most of the Islands are only accessible by boat. During this weekend trip we visited the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center in Williamstown, West Virginia and the Middle Island adjacent to St. Marys, West Virginia.

Teresa and Teddy, Ohio River NWR June 11, 2016

June 11, 2016 Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge

Established in 1990 the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge consists of 22 islands and 4 mainland tracts scattered along 362 miles of the upper Ohio River. Most of the refuge's 3440 acres of land and underwater habitat are located in West Virginia. Pennsylvania and Kentucky each have two refuge islands with the remaining Islands in West Virginia. The Ohio River Islands National Wildlife refuge lies between two major migration routes, the Mississippi and Atlantic Flyways, resulting in high species diversity along the river.

We visited the Visitor Facility near Williamstown, West Virginia we hiked around the Visistor Center, along the River with views of the Buckley Island and 1.2 mile trail through the upland forest. The variety of habitat at Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge includes grassland, riparian forest, upland forest and river habitats.

Baltimore Oriole, Ohio River Island NWR, June 11, 2016

Later in the afternoon we drove to Middle Island adjacent to St. Marys, West Virginia. Crossing the metal bridge to the Middle Island we drove the auto tour and hiked several trails, reporting 32 species of birds on ebird.

Ohio River Islands NWR, June 11, 2016

Ohio River Islands NWR, June 11, 2016


Rabbit at Ohio River Islands NWR, June 11, 2016

Downy Woodpecker at Ohio River Islands NWR, June 11, 2016

Hairy Wooodpecker at Ohio River Islands NWR, June 11, 2016

Deer at Ohio River Islands NWR, June 11, 2016

Ohio River Islands NWR, June 11, 2016

Ohio River Islands NWR, June 11, 2016

Ohio River Islands NWR, June 11, 2016

Our hotel for the night was in Marietta, Ohio and we planned to be at the Visitor Center at the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge first thing in the morning to bird. We would need to be back in Lexington Sunday night, Teresa would report to work on Monday.


June 12, 2016 Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge

At the Visitor Facility by 7:00am, we hiked the Riverview Trail and reported 37 species of birds on ebird.

Ohio River Islands NWR, June 11, 2016

Song Sparrow at Ohio River Islands NWR, June 11, 2016

With all 22 islands of the Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge accessible by boat, we would need to schedule some time to view some of the other islands part of this amazing National Wildlife Refuge working to restore and conserve the Ohio River freshwater ecosystem. The Refuges conservation efforts include working with many other wildlife organizations to restore and conserve freshwater mussel populations. Mussels are filter feeders removing pollutants from the river an important part of maintaining a healthy river ecosystem. Mussels also provide habitat for fish and other invertebrates. Forty-seven species of native freshwater mussels live within the Ohio River Islands in the Ohio River, including eight federally endangered mussel species: fanshell, pink mucket, sheepnose, spectaclecase, snuffbox, purple cat's paw pearlymussel, clubshell, and rayed bean.


Here is a list of the Islands and mainland tracts properties of the

Ohio River Island National Wildlife Refuge

Phillis Island, PA , 39 acres Georgetown Island, PA , 16 acres Buffalo Creek mainland tract, WV, 19 acres Wheeling Island tract, WV, 18 acres Captina Island, WV, 17 acres Captina mainland, WV, 138 acres Fish Creek Island, WV, 48 acres Paden Island, WV, 81 acres Williamson Island, WV, 126 acres Witten Towhead, WV, 8 acres Crab Island, WV, 1 acre Wells Island, WV, 43 acres Mill Creek Island, WV, 19 acres Grandview Island, WV, 8 acres Grape Island, WV, 45 acres Middle Island, WV, 235 acres Broadback Island, WV , 51 acres Buckley Island, WV, 160 acres Buckley mainland tract, 50 acres Muskingum Island, WV, 93 acres Neal Island, WV, 104 acres Buffington Island, WV, 162 acres Letart Island, WV, 29 acres Manchester 1 Island, KY, 20 acres Manchester 2 Island, KY, 94 acres


Refuge Mainland Properties

Buffalo Creek

Captina Mainland

Buckley Mainland

Muskingum Mainland


Visited 1 Refuge

Ohio River Islands National Wildlife Refuge, West Virginia, 6/11/16, 6/12/16

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