Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Seasons: All
- Site Contact: (804) 829-2882, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Site Access: Fee, Daily 9am-6pm, Fees: $2/adult $0.50/child 6-16 years old
- Visit Website
Other Trails Nearby
Site CPL05: Westover Plantation
This site provides expansive views of the James River, banked by manicured gardens and lawns with large tulip poplar, as well as pecans, walnuts, sycamores, an elm, an English yew, and other trees. The riverfront location provides good viewing of ospreys, bald eagles and other wildlife commonly seen on the James. Westover is directly across the river from the James River National Wildlife Refuge, one of the largest eagle roosts on the east coast. The Walled Garden, entered through a small gate through the wall to the west of the north yard of the main house, is attractive to visitors and butterflies alike. Continue east along the river and leave the lawn by the East Gate, then turn right and continue to the east on a lane along the river to the edge of the marsh. The riverbank here is in a wilder state, as is the border of the marsh, with overgrow shrubs and trees; this is a main site of avian activity. Numerous birds can be seen foraging for seeds, berries and insects. At the edge of the marsh you may turn around and retrace your steps, or turn left and continue around the field along the marsh to a ditch bank that leads to the entrance road after the stone pillars. Turn left when you reach the entrance road, go 100 yards to the next right, which will take you to the parking lot by the river. From the East Gate to the marsh is a 5-minute brisk walk. From the marsh around the field back to the parking lot is a 30-minute brisk walk. From the parking lot you may also follow a lane going west between the river and a field to a wild meadow, the site of the original Charles City Court House, then past a lane to the left that leads to the river, to the cemetery at the original site of Westover Church, and on along the river to a farm road, the end of the trail. The Court House and Church were moved to inland locations the middle of the eighteenth century. It is a 10-minute brisk walk from the parking lot to the farm road.
From Berkeley Plantation return to Herring Creek Road, after passing through the brick pillars turn right before reaching the paved road. Travel 2.0 miles to a T in the road. Turn left and proceed to the stone pillars; continue to the next right. Turn right and travel 100 yards to end of the road, then turn right into parking lot. A kiosk to the right of a gate leading to the south lawn has a slot to receive the admission fees.