Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Site Contact: Paul Servis; (804) 435-1788
- Site Access: Daily during daylight hours
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Site CNN14A: Chesapeake Trail
The Chesapeake Trail wanders through more than 12 acres of diverse communities. It was once part of a much larger tract, but ownership changes and adjacent development have resulted in this remaining parcel. This area is home to several ecological communities. The cutover area is home to early successional species. This area attracts many small mammals which in turn provide prey for hawks and owls. Many butterflies take advantage of the wildlflowers that thrive in this area. The mature forest and its understory of holly and mountain laurel provide ample cover for many forest species such as hermit thrush. Continue on and you will come to an overlook into the saltmarsh at the head of the Western Branch of the Corrotoman River. This is a prime spot to see wood duck, which also breed within the forest along the trail. Hooded merganser and beaver are among the other wildlife your're likely to encounter here. As you return to the parking lot you'll pass a tranquil fern glade on your way to an ephemeral pool. This pool provides habitat for a number of amphibians and invertebrates. A variety of plants will add interest to your walk; jewelweed, trailing arbutus, wild ginger, and a variety of ferns including dissected grape fern can be seen along the trail. The trail was created through a cooperative partnership of the site owner, Lancaster County, and the Northern Neck Chapter of National Audubon Society, which developed and maintained the trail. The trail traverses approximately 1/2 mile of varied terrain and can be walked in 30 minutes.
From Hickory Hollow Nature Trail turn right (south) from the parking area south onto Regina Road/Rt. 604. Turn right (west) onto SR 3/Mary Ball Road and proceed 1.6 miles. Entrance to the Chesapeake Trail is on your left.