Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
Appalachian Wonders Loop
Located within the Cumberland Plateau, the Appalachian Wonders Loop is a haven for naturalists, and in particular, birders. With 24 species of breeding warblers, Wise County can be a phenomenal venue for bird-watching. It's not just the warblers that make this area a birding treasure–there are many other nesting bird species that make this region their summering home. Places like High Knob Lake can offer an evening serenade of four species of thrushes! Maturing forests juxtaposed to early succession growth of reclaimed strip mines at high elevations are likely to attract a large number of habitat-specific breeding migrants. Look for unusual species or rarities, such as Kirtland's warbler at Wise Reservoir, during spring migration. In addition to a rich bird life, these areas are home to a diversity of flora, salamanders, insects, and mammals, including foxes and even black bear. The Appalachian Wonders Loop will lead you to discover an area rich with history, cultural expression and outdoor recreation.
The Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail Program recommends checking the following Web sites for lodging, restaurants and other service providers: