Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Site Contact: (276) 782-9051 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Site Access: Daily. Hunting license, freshwater fishing license, boat registration, or access permit required.
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Site MBR07: Crooked Creek Wildlife Management Area
Elevation: 2383 ft. Crooked Creek WMA offers 1796 acres of land that encompasses shrub-lined streambeds, rhododendron thickets, eastern hardwood forests, clearings and fields of early successional growth, grassy meadows, and scattered pine stands. This site ranges in elevation from 2400 to 3000 feet. Although there are no formal trails in place, access into some of these diverse habitats is fairly easy. Woodland edges beyond the clearings to the northeast of the creek are good places to look for chestnut-sided warbler and rose-breasted grosbeak. Nesting neotropical migrants can be found in appropriate habitat: black-throated blue warbler, veery, and scarlet tanager at higher elevations in more mature forests, and hooded warbler, ovenbird, and wood thrush at lower elevations. High elevation points can produce views of migrating hawks in the fall. In the summer, look for turkey and black vultures, as well as red-tailed hawk. Bobcat may move stealthily throughout this area, as well as red fox. Black bear, even more difficult to see, also reside in this area. Butterflies such as spicebush swallowtail, eastern-tailed blue, and great spangled and meadow fritillaries are abundant in the flowering meadows. Common whitetail, a moderate-sized dragonfly, can also be found perched along woodland edges. Naturalists seeking early morning exploration may be greeted with dusk hatchings of luna moth or quick glimpses of the smaller denizens of these woods, such as short-tailed shrew.
From Stewarts Creek Wildlife Management Area, return to Rt. 620 and turn left, heading north for 3.4 miles until Rt. 620 runs into SR 97. Turn left on SR 97 and follow it 0.6 miles until it reconnects with Rt. 620. Turn right and proceed north on Rt. 620, following it 4.7 miles to the Crooked Creek WMA entrance. (Note: Rt. 620/Forest Oak Road becomes a gravel road). To return to the interstate, continue on Rt. 620 3.6 miles to US 58/US 221. Turn right onto US 58/US 221 and travel east 3.4 miles to I-77 North. Follow I-77 North to the Big Walker Mountain Loop or follow US 58 West/US 221 South to begin the Mountain Music Loop.