Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail

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  • Seasons: All
  • Site Contact: (804) 786-7951
  • Site Access: Free, Daily
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Site CNN09: Bush Mill Stream Natural Area Preserve


This preserve is one of the Northern Neck's many hidden gems. From the parking area, a well-marked trail descends from dry ridge forests to an observation deck overlooking Bush Mill Stream. The platform offers viewing opportunities of the rich, freshwater tidal marsh below. The marsh is alive year-round with great blue herons, other wading birds, bald eagles, osprey, and waterfowl such as wood ducks. Careful observation may reveal a river otter. The preserve is rarely crowded, creating an ideal wildlife-watching experience. A diversity of dragonflies, spring and fall migrant songbirds, wild turkey, and white-tailed deer can all be enjoyed here. Please remember that Bush Mill Stream is a Natural Area Preserve and as such, contains sensitive natural communities. Respect this area by staying on designated paths, leaving pets in the car or at home, and not removing anything from the area.


From Stratford Hall return to SR 3 East and continue 7.9 miles, then turn left onto SR 202. Proceed 17.6 miles turn left onto US 360 East, travel 6.9 miles and turn right onto SR 201 South. Go 3.4 miles and turn left onto Rt. 642. The preserve entrance is 0.3 miles on the left. The access is a dirt lane running between hedgerows that can be easily overlooked.

Loop Map