Natural Area Rules and Regulations

Sign May 2022

Ivy Creek Natural Area is a special kind of park and has rules designed to protect its unique nature while still allowing humans to enjoy its qualities. To maintain the wildness of nature we ask that you leave behind many things that you might bring to or take from other county or city parks. Our main rule is “Take only pictures, leave only footprints.” Nature is easily disturbed so pets (other than approved ADA service dogs), biking, or collecting are not allowed and visitors should remain on trails. Even dogs on a leash can upset the birds and other animals that wildlife watchers come to observe. The Natural Area is for quiet recreation which does not adversely impact Nature – if you wish to engage in noisier activities, please visit one of the many parks in the Charlottesville – Albemarle area which provide playgrounds and picnic tables and permit walking dogs, riding bikes, horseback riding, swimming, organized sports and other forms of recreation.

The Natural Area closes at dark unless a specific public event is scheduled for that evening. Please be sure to leave adequate time to return from the trails to your vehicle. The trails in the woods get dark before the sky does and it’s easy to get lost!

Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

The following are specifically PROHIBITED:

Firearms are prohibited on all Albemarle County property, including Ivy Creek Natural Area.

County code does not allow open containers of alcohol, or consumption of alcohol, in county parks.

Please leave your pets at home when visiting Ivy Creek. You are welcome to walk your dogs at the other area parks which allow them. Approved ADA service dogs are welcome.

The reservoir at Ivy Creek is a public water supply and swimming is prohibited by state law. Please make use of local swimming facilities.

The trails are restricted to quiet pedestrian and wheelchair use. Other area parks allow bicycles and horses, including extensive mountain bike facilities at Albemarle County’s public Walnut Creek Park, and both mountain biking and horseback riding trails at the County's Preddy Creek Trails Park.

The Natural Area is not set up for jogging, team sports nor heavy or noisy recreational activities. Please make use of the other area parks which provide facilities for such activities.

The Natural Area is not a campground. Visitors and their vehicles must be out of the park by closing time each night.

Fires are not allowed! If you wish to have a cookout, please make use of the several area parks which provide grills and/or shelters.

Littering and other dumping of trash is illegal. Also, the Natural Area is not an appropriate place to leave items behind for later pickup, such as GEOCACHING. Any Geocaching items found will be disposed!

County code prohibits hunting and trapping of wildlife at county parks. Collecting of other specimens is also prohibited: the plants, rocks and farm artifacts need to remain in the park in order for other visitors to enjoy them!

Virginia state law prohibits the transport and release of wildlife. The reasons for this involve preventing the spread of wildlife diseases — the animal you are relocating might be a carrier for a disease to which it may be immune or for which it does not exhibit any symptoms. By moving the animal away from its colony to our natural areas you risk infecting our wildlife with a disease to which they are not immune. So by saving one animal’s life you risk ending the lives of many others.

Also, transporting an improperly caged wild animal is extremely dangerous — in a motor vehicle, a wild animal can panic and get loose, attacking the human occupants, and/or causing the driver to lose control and leading to a serious, possibly fatal, vehicle accident.

Fishing is permitted in the reservoir, but not in the streams or creeks of the Natural Area.