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Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail

Southwest Piedmont Loop

Description

Crossing the Blue Ridge and descending down its eastern flank, visitors will traverse a crumple of rolling foothills; the beginning of the Piedmont. Access points to the foothills abound around Rocky Mount with several parks offering fields, forest and seasonal wetlands. This easternmost portion of the wildlife watching trail is one of the most exposed areas of open pasture and regenerating forest. This is the domain of the red-tailed hawk and the blue grosbeak, with prairie warblers and field sparrows gathering where the fields gradually change to forest. Several of the streams trickling down from the Blue Ridge have been dammed here to form reservoirs. The largest of these reservoirs, Smith Mountain Lake, holds thousands of acres of open water. In winter, these reservoirs hold numerous waterfowl, and they attract unusual species year-round. The loop ends in the east at the Dan River in Danville, which holds damsel- and dragonflies less commonly found at the higher elevations further west. The river is also a great spot to search for migrant waterfowl and resident herons.

Loop Map

Services

Altavista Area Chamber of Commerce
434.369.6665
altcoc@att.net

Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce
540.586.9401
bcchamber@cablenet-va.com

Bedford City & County Dept. of Tourism
540.587.5681
sergei@visitbedford.com

Danville Parks, Recreation & Tourism
434.773.8160
specialevents@gamewood.net

Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce
434.793.5422

Franklin County Commerce and Leisure Services
5404839292 x24
info@franklincounty.org

Smith Mountain Lake Chamber
540.721.1203
annette@visitsmithmountainlake.com

The Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail Program recommends checking the following Web sites for lodging, restaurants and other service providers:

Virginia Accomodations Virginia Green