Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Site Contact: (276) 328-2931, Clinch Ranger District
- Site Access: Daily, sunrise-sunset; admission free
- Visit Website
Site MAW06: Glady Fork Wetland
Elevation: 2926 ft., This extensive area is home to an unprecedented ecosystem: a flat mountain valley of forested wetland maintained by beaver. Situated at about 3000 feet in elevation, this site possesses a unique ecology based on beaver-dam ecosystems, as they progress through various successional stages. Open meadows, marshes, swampy shrub, ponds, and hardwood forests comprise most of the habitat in this area. Pileated woodpecker is common, making homes for themselves in the stands of dead trees. At this elevation, songbirds such as chestnut-sided, Canada, yellow-throated, and yellow warblers, as well as northern parula, and dark-eyed junco can be found with relative ease. In addition to typical woodland species mentioned above, the more open areas are also home to grassland birds. Listen for northern bobwhite, and watch vibrant yellow and blue flashes of American goldfinch and indigo bunting cross windswept meadows. Wood duck make themselves at home in secluded woodland ponds. Tree, northern rough-winged, and barn swallows can be seen circling in the sky.
From Bark Camp Lake, turn left, continuing northwest on Rt. 822 for 1.6 miles to Rt. 699. Turn left on Rt. 699 and go 0.3 miles to Rt. 706. Turn left on Rt. 706 and travel about 2 miles until you come to the intersection with Edith Gap Road. Go left onto Edith Gap Road (which is actually still Rt. 706) and continue for about another mile. Turn right onto a gravel road just around the hill past the trail sign at Edith Gap and go another mile down to the parking area.