The Germanna Ford Boat Launch is Open!

Photo by Carleigh Starkston, Friends of the Rappahannock

A new public boat launch on the Rapidan River is now open to visitors at Historic Germanna in Orange County.

We were thrilled to partner with Historic Germanna and Friends Of The Rappahannock to create the new Germanna Ford Boat Launch, part of our joint effort with Friends of the Rappahannock to build out the Upper Rappahannock Water Trail!

This project is also special because it’s part of a larger conservation effort in the Upper Rappahannock watershed across Orange, Culpeper, Madison, Rappahannock, Fauquier and Greene counties. In 2023, Historic Germanna signed a perpetual open-space easement on Siegen Forest, held by the Virginia Board of Historic Resources. Nearby conserved properties include Salubria and portions of the Brandy Station Battlefield at Stevensburg and Wilderness Battlefield in Orange.

PEC helped develop a conservation solution through Virginia’s Land Preservation Tax Credit and secured a grant of $647,370 from the Virginia Land Conservation Foundation to help purchase the easement, and the American Battlefield Trust contributed another $655,000 with a Battlefield Protection Program grant from the National Park Service. With a generous gift from Bill Prime for conservation in the Rappahannock watershed, PEC contributed another $20,000 for additional costs associated with the easement. Learn more about the Siegen Forest easement →

The end result: Now when visitors use the new boat launch to start their journey on the Rapidan, they’ll know that the flora and fauna, riverbank and historic resources of Siegen Forest are permanently protected from development thanks to the hard work of many partners over the course of nearly a decade!

Photos by Carleigh Starkston, Friends of the Rappahannock