Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
Alleghany Highlands Loop
It is said that the Allegheny Mountains are endless. As visitors journey through valleys of the James, Jackson and Cowpasture Rivers, the Alleghenies indeed seem endless, with mountain vistas as far as the eyes can see. Hundreds of miles of trails crisscross the area, taking the adventurous deep into the forest for a truly memorable experience. Travel the Top Drive/North Mountain Loop, and the mountains multiply into the distant haze. Touted as the "Skyline Drive without the crowds," this gravel road leads the wildlife watcher to high elevation forests where scarlet tanagers and rose-breasted grosbeaks abound. As the Alleghenies appear infinite, so do the opportunities for watching wildlife. Awe-inspiring views continue from the trails of Douthat State Park. Keep an eye out for local denizens such as black bear, wild turkey and numerous songbirds. Douthat Lake regularly hosts bald eagles, as does the much larger Lake Moomaw. Neighboring towns provide a variety of accommodations, making an extended stay easily feasible and well worthwhile.
Alleghany Highlands Chamber of Commerce
The Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail Program recommends checking the following Web sites for lodging, restaurants and other service providers: