Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Site Contact: U.S. Forest Service–Wythe Ranger Station, (276) 228-5551
- Site Access: Daily, sunrise-sunset; admission free
Site MBW04: Big Bend Picnic Area
Elevation: 3950 ft. Located at 3950 feet on Walker Mountain, the Big Bend Picnic Area provides a fantastic view north into the mountains of West Virginia on a clear day. Although less than 4.0 miles from US 52, this picnic area is usually quiet and undisturbed, making it an ideal locality for wildlife watching. The road along the ridgeline should be traveled slowly since there are numerous species walking along and across it. The most notable of these travelers are ruffed grouse, white-tailed deer, and eastern box turtle, which can be chanced upon at any time of day. The picnic area itself is located in a mature mixed hardwood forest with numerous oaks and maples. The site is peppered with numerous fire pink wildflowers as well as a dense understory of blackberries. Birds found in the area include downy and hairy woodpeckers, wood thrush, black-and-white warbler, and other woodland songbirds.
From the Stony Fork Campground, continue west on Rt. 717 for 0.5 miles to US 52. Follow US 52 north for 4.0 miles. At the top of the ridge turn sharply right onto FR 206 and continue 3.6 miles to the picnic area on the left.