Ramsey’s Draft Wilderness

Neotropical migrant birds, mountain biking and brook trout

A fire ring at the intersection of Jerry's Run and Ramsey's Draft Courtesy of Flickr user hansrwl
A young hiker in Ramsey's Draft Wilderness © 167/Greg Dale/Ocean/Corbis
Dianthus armeria, just one of the many species of plants found in Ramsey's Draft © 167/Greg Dale/Ocean/Corbis
Ramsey's Draft stream in the morning fog © 167/Greg Dale/Ocean/Corbis

Location: Virginia
Size: 6,518 acres
Year Designated: 1984

Rugged and expansive, Ramsey's Draft Wilderness is one of the most visited wilderness areas in Virginia. The area takes its name from the "draft" or stream (filled with brook trout) that serves as its main drainage. It is bordered by Shenandoah Mountain on the west and Bald Ridge along the east, which arc to meet at Tearjacket Knob, a 4,209 mountain peak.

Though part of the area was once logged, it also has large stands of old growth trees and is home to the largest Eastern hemlock in all of Virginia, which measures 120 feet tall and 52.2-inches in diameter.