Hickory Hollow Natural Area Preserve

Hickory Hollow Natural Area Preserve (HHNAP), located in Lancaster County, Virginia, is owned by Northern Neck Audubon Society (NNAS) and managed cooperatively with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), Division of Natural Heritage (DNH). HHNAP is situated immediately behind Lancaster High School off Regina Road.

HHNAP is a 254 acre moist hardwood forest, successional pine forest, and seepage swamp along the Western Branch of the Corrotoman River. The seepage swamp, Cabin Swamp, is an exceptional quality wetland community that supports a very high diversity, perhaps 500 plant species including several mountain disjuncts and the rare Kentucky Lady’s slipper orchid, and as many as 115 bird species.

The long-term management objective for HHNAP is to preserve rare species and ecological communities for the perpetual benefit, education, and enjoyment of Virginia’s citizens.

HHNAP is on the coastal trail of the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail.


1780 First ownership recorded by Lancaster County

1877 Purchased by Lancaster County and used as a County Poor Farm

1905 Poor Farm closes and land is allowed to reforest

1962 Last timber harvest. White Pine planted.

1971 Forester Henry Bashore creates a system of trails

1997-1999 Lancaster County plan to build an industrial park

2000 Northern Neck Audubon Society buy the property from Lancaster County with a matching grant from the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation.

2000 Dedicated as Hickory Hollow Natural Area Preserve


26 acres 10% Coastal Plain Basic Seepage Swamp (CEGL006413)
150 acres 59% Piedmont Acidic Oak-Hickory Forest (CEGL008475)
30 acres 12% Mid-Atlantic Mesic Mixed Hardwood Forest (CEGL006075)
30 acres 12% Successional Tulip-tree – Loblolly Pine Upland Forest (CEGL007521)
18 acres 7% Unaccounted

Newly Discovered Communities in Hickory Hollow:

Northeastern Coastal Plain-Piedmont Oak - Beech / Heath Forest (CEGL006919)

Upper Southeast Sweetgum - Tuliptree Small Stream Forest (CEGL004418)


HHNAP is open year round from sunrise to sunset. There are picnic tables with one set covered, a small parking lot and a system of hiking trails with interpretive signs and benches.

Driving Directions:

From Kilmarnock, follow VA 3 towards Lancaster. Just before you reach Lancaster, turn right onto VA 604. HHNAP is on your left.

From Warsaw, follow VA 3 towards Lancaster. Just after the Lancaster High School, turn left onto VA 604. HHNAP is on your left.

DCR's Hickory Hollow NAP Website