Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
North River Loop
Heading west out of the Shenandoah Valley into the Allegheny Mountains reveals the towering white pines and hemlocks of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest. As the mountains rise to meet West Virginia, the visitor encounters a series of reservoirs created from several tributaries of the Shenandoah River, where the North River eventually ends. These small lakes add to the diversity of habitats found along the loop and make for excellent wildlife watching. Traveling these quiet back roads could expose wild turkey, ruffed grouse, and perhaps black bear as they cross roads or come to lakes for a drink. The hills host numerous nesting wood warblers in spring while fall brings raptors cruising south along the ridgelines high above the Shenandoah Valley. The numerous small lakes require extra special attention during migration when a number of unusual species of waterfowl may appear.
The Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail Program recommends checking the following Web sites for lodging, restaurants and other service providers: