“Compared to all other major tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay, the reach of the Rappahannock River
between Tappahannock and Port Royal remains the most pristine. The waterway supports extensive
forested wetlands and pristine shorelines embedded within a predominantly rural landscape. Uplands have
a wide range of topographic features that result in a high diversity of habitats within a relatively small area.

- Audubon Society
Source: Report on Lower Rappahannock River


"This is Bald Eagle central!" "You don't see much evidence of human habitation up here."

- Joe McCauley, Former Director, Rappahannock River National Wildlife Refuge
Source: Chesapeake Bay Journal


Fones Cliffs "provide an incredibly scenic experience for people on the river...
"a wonderful treasure to be discovered and explored by our future generations,"

- Jennifer Allen, Program Manager, Friends of the Rappahannock:
Source: Fredericksburg News


"Largest gathering of Bald Eagles on the east coast."

- United States Congressman Jim Moran


"This deep powerful river shelters the mid-Atlantic's largest population of bald eagles. Among their favorite roosts is Fones Cliffs, where they keep an eagle eye out for bountiful shad and herring. It was from these sandstone heights that Rappahannock Indians ambushed Smith and his men as they rowed their 28-foot, oak-timbered Discovery Barge upriver in August 1608. Hails of arrows flew from both sides of the river but met stout shields the crew had erected atop Discovery's gunwales. The Indians did not pursue the vessel, which was soon safely out of range. Today the river's shoreline remains relatively undeveloped and unspoiled."

- National Geographic


"Fones Cliffs are probably the most significant site in the entire Chesapeake Bay for eagles. We should consider it a national treasure."

 - Bryan Watts, Renowned Eagle Expert, Director, Center for Conservation and Biology