Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
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- Site Access: OPEN ONLY BY PRIOR ARRANGEMENT
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Site CPL08: New Kent Forestry Center
You must make prior arrangements to visit this site. The Virginia Department of Forestry's New Kent Forestry Center (NKFC) includes large expanses of loblolly pine seed orchards used to propagate prime trees for planting in harvested areas or creating new forests. A longleaf pine seed orchard was established in 2009 to help restore longleaf to its native range in Virginia. American chestnut hybrids are also tested on this site. Habitat management and research are the focus of the center. The site contains active agricultural fields that are frequented by wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, and bobwhite quail. Aside from the research and management projects occurring at the NKFC, a spectacular one-mile wilderness trail is available for exploration by the nature enthusiast. At the first right off the driveway, a long gravel road (gated during closed hours) leads to the trailhead behind the research buildings. The trail is well maintained with a portion of the work being conducted by local Boy Scout troops. The path meanders through bottomland forest as interpretive signs describe both tree species and the different ecosystems passed along the way. Massive trees, as well as woodpeckers, songbirds and raptors are abundant throughout the swamp. A series of short boardwalks traverse the extremely wet areas where baldcypress flourishes. The trail terminates at the Chickahominy River where enormous old-growth baldcypresses thrive along the waters edge. Deer and turkey hunts for handicapped hunters are conducted on Saturdays during hunting season. The center is closed for those hunt dates. Lottery dove, rabbit, and quail hunts are also scheduled in their respective seasons, which should be noted. You must contact Lisa Deaton in order to schedule a visit at the New Kent Forestry Center.
Leaving Crawfords State Forest, continue east on US 60 approximately 4.7 miles. The Forestry Center entrance is on the right side of the eastbound lane.