Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
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Site MBR02: New River Trail State Park: Foster Falls
Elevation: 1948 ft. Another access point along the New River Trail complex, scenic Foster Falls offers campsites, boat, horse and bike rentals, picnic shelters, and hiking trails. Located at milepost 24.0, the cascading waters glide over river bedrock amidst a background of limestone cliffs. Marshy edges and open meadows compose much of the landscape of this park, with occasional woods, like oaks and walnuts, providing cover for wildlife. Green heron and belted kingfisher can be expected here year-round. Great blue heron may also make an appearance along these waters. The more open areas away from the river lend themselves to eastern kingbird, eastern bluebird, chipping sparrow and American goldfinch. Migrant waterfowl and shorebirds may be found within and along these waters in the spring and summer. Look for wintering ducks on the river, such as bufflehead, common goldeneye and hooded merganser. If interested in aquatic insects, this is most definitely a good place of study. Damsel and dragonflies, in particular, are here in good numbers during warm months. The diversity of damselflies that patrol the weedy and shrubby embankments includes dusky, powdered, blue-fronted, and variable dancers, fragile and Rambur's forktails, familiar and big bluets and American rubyspot. Numerous dragonflies can be found, with eastern pondhawk, blue dasher, widow skimmer, and spectacular patrolling displays of black-shouldered spinyleg and royal river cruiser.
From the Shot Tower, return to US 52 and turn left; travel north for 0.1 miles to Rt. 608/Foster Falls Road. Turn right on Rt. 608/Foster Falls Road, continuing for 1.8 miles to Rt. 623/Orphanage Road. Turn left on Rt. 623 and proceed less than 0.2 miles to the entrance.