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Goshen Pass Natural Area Preserve

Goshen Pass Natural Area Preserve


Goshen Pass is Virginia's oldest state-managed natural area. Located in Rockbridge County, about 10 miles north of Lexington, the Commonwealth first acquired the property in 1954 to help protect the spectacular views of the 3.7-mile long gorge along the Maury River. More recently a number of biological treasures were discovered on the property. Among them are outstanding examples of chestnut oak forest, pine-oak-heath woodland, rocky riverside scrub communities, a state-rare damselfly called the Appalachian jewelwing, and several rare plants. The preserve, which encompasses the southwest face of the gorge, was dedicated as a State Natural Area Preserve in 2001.


Please note, VDOT is conducting some work on Route 39 (Maury River Road) in Rockbridge County starting Monday, July 14, 2014. Route 39 will be closed daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at various work sites in the Goshen Pass area, which is about five miles west of Rockbridge Baths and 15 miles west of Lexington. The road will be open to two-way traffic during non-work hours. The improvements on Route 39 are expected to take about four weeks. All work is weather permitting.
Public access to Goshen Pass Natural Area Preserve is only available via a parking area off Route 39 and swinging bridge across the Maury River, both maintained by the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) as an access point for the Goshen-Little North Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA). DGIF requires a WMA Access Permit for visitors age 17 years and older who do not possess a valid Virginia hunting, freshwater fishing or trapping license, or boat registration. Contact the DGIF Field Office in Verona (540) 248-9360 or go to for information on acquiring a WMA Access Permit.

A preserve guide factsheet and map are available to assist in planning your visit.

936 acres
Adam Christie, Shenandoah Valley Region Steward,
Department of Conservation & Recreation
Division of Natural Heritage
(540) 332-9226.