Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Seasons: All
- Site Contact: (804) 829-5176
- Site Access: Fee, Daily 9am to 5pm
- Visit Website
Site CPL09: North Bend Plantation
Over 500 acres of southern history and wildlife habitat abound at North Bend Plantation. Built in 1819, this historic landmark is home to and remains under cultivation by descendents of Edmund Ruffin (noted agriculturist and southerner who fired the first shot of the Civil War at Fort Sumter) and William Henry Harrison, the 9th President of the United States. The plantation owners have taken great steps to make the environment surrounding the Bed & Breakfast wildlife friendly. In addition to creating trails, the owners have planted a plethora of flowering plants to attract both birds and butterflies. Fields on the property are cultivated and under a strict regimen of crop rotation including corn, wheat and soybeans. These crops are a favorite food source of white-tailed deer, wild turkeys and Canada geese. Behind the house, at the bottom of the hill, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) has planted wildlife food plots along the edge of a field. The DGIF also helped to build a small pond that attracts ducks using the James River. Along the other side of this field is a small parcel of wet woods that is booming with activity during spring migration. The field edges allow limited access to the woodlands on site. A narrow 20+-acre strip along the James River allows access to fantastic views of gulls, waterfowl and wintering bald eagles. An observation blind is proposed for this part of the property. Visitors should park in the guest lot just past the house and sign in at the plantation. Information brochures are available, and a self-guided interpretive trail and plantation tour begin at this location. The entire grounds are open for exploration, but respect the area; it is private property and the owners have been gracious enough to allow entry. Do not enter the barn area or cross any fields that are in production.
From the New Kent Forestry Center, turn left on US 60 West and return to Providence Forge. Turn left on SR 155 and follow it south to return to SR 5. Turn left and drive 1.3 miles to Rt. 619/Weyanoke Rd. Turn right and proceed 0.9 miles to the intersection with Rt. 638. Continue right (west) on Rt. 619 for 0.3 miles. The North Bend Plantation is on the left.