Virginia Birding & Wildlife Trail
Discover Our Wild Side!
It’s easy to discover Virginia’s wild side with The Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail (VBWT), an organized network of over 600 viewing sites highlighting the best places to see birds and wildlife in the Commonwealth. Stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the Appalachian Mountains, the VBWT is your guide to exploring Virginia’s diverse habitats, each home to a wide variety of native birds and wildlife. Walk a nature trail, paddle a river, or take in a scenic overlook to experience Virginia’s wealth of natural diversity, ranging from brown pelicans and bottlenose dolphins to bald eagles and black bear. With 400 species of birds, 150 species of mammals, 150 species of amphibians and reptiles, 250 species of fish, plus hundreds of butterfly, dragonfly, and other invertebrate species, you’ll soon see why Virginia is a premier destination for viewing birds and wildlife.
Begin Your Excursion:
Find sites near you – Use the interactive maps and menus at Find Wildlife: Viewing to search for viewing sites near you or by county, search for sites with specific birds and wildlife of interest, or get driving directions to a site from your current location.
Plan a trip to one of 65 trail loops – Each trail loop contains multiple viewing sites and is designed to be explored over 2–3 days, either by driving from site-to-site or by selecting a few sites that interest you most. Each loop has a webpage with a map of the loop, descriptions of its viewing sites, and links to tourism information. Use the web links below to find a trail loop for your next excursion; begin by selecting from the coastal, piedmont, or mountain regions.
Virginia’s Coastal Plain contains 18 trail loops to explore its scenic seashores, untouched barrier islands, cypress swamps, great stands of pine forest, and bayside salt marshes. Look for bald eagles and osprey, wintering geese and ducks, rails, shorebirds, and migrating songbirds. Additional wildlife includes marine mammals, turtles, lizards, snakes, and frogs, plus abundant butterflies and dragonflies.
The Piedmont (French for “foothill”) is the plateau region between the Atlantic coastal plain and the Appalachian Mountains. This area offers 13 loops to explore expansive grasslands, large forested tracts, pineland savannahs, and large reservoirs. Look for bobolinks, meadowlarks, turkey, grosbeaks, indigo buntings, prairie warblers, and northern parulas. Additional wildlife includes white-tailed deer, lizards, and turtles. Along the way you’ll also discover an abundance of rich history and culture!
34 loops through the Blue Ridge, Allegheny, and Cumberland Mountains help you explore the expansive vistas, scenic overlooks, back roads, forests, reservoirs, and rivers of the Appalachians. Look for over 20 species of warblers, migrating hawks, owls, and grouse. Additional wildlife includes black bear and white-tailed deer. During your travels, be sure to enjoy the unique Appalachian food, music and culture.
Contact Us: BirdingTrail@dgif.virginia.gov