ChilTON wOODS STATE FOREST
Chilton Woods State Forest is the first State Forest located on the Northern Neck of the Commonwealth of Virginia. In July of 2000, Mrs. Catherine B. Chilton conveyed the 397-acre tract, known as Chilton Woods, to the Virginia Department of Forestry. Chilton Woods State Forest became the 15th State Forest under the stewardship of the VDOF. It is located in Lancaster County. On Virginia Highway 3, travel east from Warsaw approximately 15-20 miles. After entering Lancaster County, turn left onto Rt. 602 (Field Trial Road) and follow for approximately 1-2 miles. Pass the sign for Chilton Woods State Forest on your right, under the power line right-of-way, and drive into the gravel parking lot on the right.
The property is entirely in forestland of various aged loblolly pine stands, which were nurtured and maintained by the Chilton family for many decades. The VDOF assisted Mr. and Mrs. Chilton when they took possession of the property in 1954. The Chilton family managed Chilton Woods State Forest under the guidance of professional foresters, involving both the VDOF and private consultants. William “Ran” Chilton, who was a heating oil and fuel dealer and president of the Bank of Lancaster, did not cut any timber until it was fully mature and then was quick to reforest the land in pines. But, as much as Mr. Chilton managed the woods for income, he was also drawn by the beauty of the land and its wildlife.
Mr. Chilton died in 1973. His will left the forest to his wife in a lifetime trust with the provision that it be transferred at her death to the state and managed for timber and wildlife. Mrs. Chilton thought better of this and deeded the tract of Lancaster County land to the state to ensure her late husband’s wish was fulfilled for the Virginia Department of Forestry to receive it.
Streams in the woods drain into Lancaster Creek and Corrotoman River, both tributaries of the Rappahannock River. The Rappahannock empties into the Chesapeake Bay.
By integrating best management practices on this land, we're ensuring that this forest is helping keep the Chesapeake Bay alive and productive.
from DOF's Chilton Woods website