York River Preserve

Property Map

York River Preserve - Recently Sold

Williamsburg, Virginia

The 2,700± acre York River Preserve (“YRP”) is located approximately 20 minutes northeast of the historic city of Williamsburg along the western shore of the York River and 25 miles upstream from the river’s confluence with the Chesapeake Bay. The York fronts the property for over 3.5 miles and offers boating access and expansive views eastward for nearly 2 miles across open water. YRP is buffered by Ware Creek and Philbates Creek, which are intimate, meandering tidal streams originating west of the property, and a vast, intact saltwater marsh complex that offers waterfowl hunting, fishing, and other water-based activities. Upland portions of YRP include mature hardwood forests, managed stands of pine, 60± acres of tillable cropland, freshwater wetlands, a 2+/- acre fishing pond, and waterfront bluffs ideal for developing the perfect homesite and residential compound. The property features several older farm structures, a boat launch onto Ware Creek, and approximately 20 miles of interior roads. YRP is only 45 minutes from Richmond, the capital of Virginia, and 2.5 hours from Washington, DC. 

Listed with William G. Barnett, Commonwealth Land of Richmond, VA.




YRP is located in the tidewater region of eastern Virginia, on the western shore of the York River. The property lies near Holly Forks, an unincorporated community in New Kent County, 20 miles from historic Williamsburg and 45 miles from downtown Richmond, the state capitol. YRP is only 6 miles from Interstate 64, which offers convenient access to the surrounding area. Washington DC and the communities of northern Virginia are a 2 to 3-hour drive north on Interstate 95. Richmond International Airport and Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport are both 40 minutes from the property. A third international airport is one hour away in Norfolk, VA.


The area surrounding YRP is steeped in American history. It all began here when Virginia was originally settled over 400 years ago. The first permanent English colony was Jamestown, and a few years later colonial leaders moved the colony 5 miles inland between the York and James Rivers. This new city was named Williamsburg, which served as the state’s capital until it was relocated to Richmond in 1780.

Williamsburg is known worldwide as the center for the preservation and interpretation of American colonial history. Franklin D. Roosevelt proclaimed its Main Street to be the most historic street in America. Williamsburg boasts one of the nation’s premier public universities, William & Mary, and features many cultural festivals, fine restaurants, and championship golf courses. Along with nearby Jamestown and Yorktown, Williamsburg is part of the Historic Triangle, which attracts more than 4 million tourists each year.

Located 45 minutes northwest on I-64 is Richmond, a dynamic and cosmopolitan city with all the amenities of a major metropolitan center. In 2012, Outside magazine selected Richmond as the “best river town” in the country, while in 2007 MarketWatch named Richmond the nation’s third-best city for business. The area is home to six Fortune 500 companies, four of America’s largest law firms, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Along with business comes the arts and culture. Richmond enjoys a Museum District that includes the Virginia Historical Society, Science Museum of Virginia, and Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

On the same shoreline, York River State Park is a short distance downstream from YRP and boasts nearly 30 miles of hiking, mountain biking and equestrian trails, allowing visitors to explore the area’s marshes, forests, and shoreline. Large areas along the York River consist of preserved wetlands, which are considered ecologically important to migratory waterfowl.

The York River forms at West Point, only a few miles upstream of YRP, at the confluence of the Mattaponi and Pamunkey Rivers. The York flows eastward for 25 miles before joining the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the United States. Hampton Roads and the gateway to the Atlantic are another 25 miles further east.

General Description: 

YRP is a large, diverse property that encompasses an array of landscapes and habitat types. Beginning at the northern boundary, the property extends east from Goddins Pond along Philbates Creek until its confluence with the York River. Moving south through YRP, one finds a mixture of mature pine forests and hardwood drains. Some timber harvest occurred on the property approximately 14 years ago, and these areas feature early succession volunteer hardwood forests. As one enters the center of YRP, a small branch of Ware Creek provides a natural boundary defining the northern and southern sections of the property. Here, beavers have created freshwater potholes which black ducks and other puddle ducks frequent. Continuing southward, the landscape changes to old hardwood forests. Once owned for decades by Chesapeake Forest Products, the company used this area as its recreational retreat for entertaining clients. Gorgeous oak trees dominate this landscape. In the center of this section are 60 acres of income-producing cropland, which are managed by a neighboring farmer. Nestled on the edges of these agriculture fields are a few of the property’s structures that include an old farmstead house, hunting lodge, and 2 small barns. This southern portion of YRP features the most diverse topography on the property with gentle ridges and high bluffs overlooking Ware Creek. Overall, there are approximately 9 miles of water frontage including 3.5 miles on the York River, 4.5 miles on Ware Creek and 1.5 miles on Philbates Creek, all of which encompass areas of diverse tidal marshes. 


2,700± acres

YRP’s natural terrain and physical configuration allow for the division of the property into 2 independent parcels approximately 1,630± and 1,070± acres in size that can be sold separately.


YRP has few structural improvements, leaving an owner a clean palate to build and design a residential compound that meets one’s personal needs and interests. There are many locations with spectacular views overlooking water for a home or cottage to be built.

Existing structural improvements include:

• Old farmstead house
• 2 small barns
• Small cinder block hunting lodge with garage
• Large pole barn and 2 smaller pole barns
• Boat ramp into Ware Creek

It is important to note the property features a very good interior road system totaling approximately 20 miles, making for great access throughout. In addition, power services exist on the property.


Lying within the eastern seaboard’s humid subtropical zone, the area offers a mild, pleasant climate and 4 distinct seasons. Spring arrives in March with mild days and cool nights, and by late May, temperatures have warmed up considerably to herald warm summer days. On average, July is the warmest month of the year. The summer months tend to receive more precipitation than other times of the year. Fall is marked by mild to warm days and cooler nights. Winter is usually mild, with the coldest days featuring lows near or slightly above freezing and highs in the upper 40s to mid - 50s. Snow occurs sporadically, with an average annual accumulation of approximately 5 inches. 

Wildlife Resources: 

For the outdoor enthusiast looking to stay active year round, YRP offers a wide variety of quality hunting and fishing activities. The property is characterized by an assortment of habitat types, and it is this diversity that enables wildlife to flourish.

For turkey and deer, a mixture of forested and open lands provides great habitat. Food plots are abundant, and the forests consist of a mix of pines and hardwoods, some of which are early succession, but most are mature. With acorns being an important part of turkey and deer diets, one can rest assured that large mass-producing oak trees are prevalent throughout the property. In fact, there are some gorgeous hardwood ridges that are ideal for a ladder stand or to walk during a spring morning with turkey call in hand. A few deer respectable enough to hang on one’s wall are harvested each year. Several mature gobblers are taken during the spring season as well.

YRP has a history of good dove shoots, and by planting portions of the property’s 60 acres of farmland in sunflowers, an owner could create the optimal dove field. Because the land has been commercially farmed, it is in very good shape for growing a sunflower crop, and due to its natural contour this section of the property is perfect for a dove field. Also, this area is centrally located within the property making it great for entertaining family and friends.

With a broad assortment of water resources on the property, a wide range of waterfowl opportunities exists. One can enjoy a morning’s sunrise on the York River while shooting diving ducks off of Terrapin Point. For a change of venues, one can motor up Ware Creek, which changes from tidal salt to brackish to a few fresh water potholes created by beavers. It is here where the black ducks are frequent, along with other puddle ducks. Many duck blinds are already in place providing a comfortable hunting venue.

There is the opportunity to develop a first-class released quail program utilizing a section of 400-500 acres of mature managed pines. This area could be thinned to allow for the right basal density and burned annually, which would go a long way in producing quality upland habitat. With the right quail supplier, one could then implement an early season release program to create a few hunting courses that would offer explosive covey rises.

As with ducks, the water resources associated with the property yield many fishing opportunities. There is a 2+ acre pond with 2,100 feet of shoreline that could be stocked and managed as a great bass and bream fishing hole. If the target is larger quarry, one can be at the mouth of the York River in 30 minutes by boat, casting to redfish (red drum), rockfish, or cobia. For the most delicate table fare, Ware Creek is ideal for catching the region’s famous blue crab!

Aesthetic Considerations: 

One of the most striking features of this property is its sheer beauty. Picture yourself standing among mature Virginia hardwoods, on the edge of a forty-foot bluff overlooking the intimate tidal marshes of Ware Creek with the expansive York River in the background, and accompanied with the sensation that you are in the midst of our country’s very first settlement. “Unique” is a fitting word for the experience this property delivers.


County taxes for YRP are approximately $42,000 annually.

Additional Information: 

YRP is covered by 2 separate conservation easements held by the Williamsburg Land Conservancy and Wetlands American Trust (an organization that operates on behalf of Ducks Unlimited). The purpose of the easements is to protect wildlife habitat, open space, and scenic values, while allowing for continued residential, agricultural, timber, and recreational uses. A conservation easement provides the benefit of a reduction in land cost, protects the property for future generations, and allows the owner to retain many land uses and private property rights. Copies of the easements are available from the Broker upon request.

Broker Comments: 

One of the “crown jewels” of the Mid-Atlantic Coast, the 2,700± acre York River Preserve (YRP) represents a unique opportunity to acquire a substantial real estate holding in the heart of the Chesapeake Bay region featuring extensive tidal river frontage, remarkable natural beauty and diversity, and convenient proximity to desirable metropolitan areas. 

Additional Services: 

MANAGEMENT SERVICES – Hall and Hall’s Management Division has a very clear mission–to represent the owner and to ensure that his or her experience is a positive one. Services are customized to suit the owner’s needs. They often begin with the recruiting and hiring of a suitable ranch manager or caretaker and are followed by the development of a management or operating plan along with appropriate budgets. Ongoing services include bill paying, ranch oversight, and consulting services as needed. Even the most sophisticated and experienced ranch owners appreciate the value of a management firm representing them and providing advice on local area practices and costs. Wes Oja, Jerome Chvilicek, Dan Berstrom or Brant Marsh at (406) 656-7500 are available to describe and discuss these services in detail and welcome your call.

RESOURCE ENHANCEMENT SERVICES – Increasingly the value of a ranch is measured by the quality of each and every one of its resources. Coincidentally, the enhancement of a ranch’s resources also increases the pleasure that one derives from the ownership of a ranch. Our management services have included the assessment of everything from wildlife habitat to bird habitat to water resources and fisheries and the subsequent oversight of the process involved with the enhancement of these resources. Wes Oja, Jerome Chvilicek, Dan Bergstrom or Brant Marsh at (406) 656-7500 are available to describe and discuss these services in detail and welcome your call.

AUCTIONS - Hall and Hall Auctions offer “Another Solution” to create liquidity for the owners of Investment-Quality Rural Real Estate.  Our auction team has experience in marketing farmland, ranchland, timberland and recreational properties throughout the nation.  Extreme attention to detail and complete transparency coupled with Hall and Hall’s “Rolodex” of more than 40,000 targeted owners and buyers of rural real estate help assure that there are multiple bidders at each auction. In addition, the unique Hall and Hall partnership model creates a teamwork approach that helps to assure that we realize true market value on auction day.  For more information on our auction services contact Scott Shuman at (800) 829-8747.

APPRAISALS - Staying abreast of ancillary market influences in ever-changing economic conditions requires a broad professional network to tap into. Finding an appraiser who not only understands the numbers but also the differences in value from one area to another is a critical part of making an informed decision. The appraisal team at Hall and Hall, formed entirely of Accredited Members of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers (ASFMRA), has that critical network of brokers and lending professionals. This professional network coupled with diverse experience across multiple regions and market segments allows our appraisal team to deliver a quality product in a reasonable timeframe.  For more information contact our appraisal team at (406) 656-7500.

SPECIALIZED LENDING - Since 1946 Hall and Hall has created a legacy by efficiently providing capital to landowners.  In addition to traditional farm and ranch loans, we specialize in understanding the unique aspects of placing loans on ranches where value may be influenced by recreational features, location and improvements and repayment may come from outside sources. Our extensive experience and efficient processing allows us to quickly tell you whether we can provide the required financing.

Competitive Pricing  |  Flexible Terms  |  Efficient Processing
Tina Hamm or Scott Moran • (406) 656-7500 
Mike Hall or Judy Chirila • (303) 861-8282
Monte Lyons • (806) 698-6882
J.T. Holt • (806) 698-6884




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NOTICE: Offering is subject to errors, omissions, prior sale, change or withdrawal without notice, and approval of purchase by owner. Information regarding land classifications, acreages, carrying capacities, potential profits, etc., are intended only as general guidelines and have been provided by sources deemed reliable, but whose accuracy we cannot guarantee. Prospective buyers should verify all information to their satisfaction. Prospective buyers should also be aware that the photographs in this brochure may have been digitally enhanced.