Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Site Contact: (276) 953-3563 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Site Access: Daily, sunrise-sunset; admission free
Site MBW08: Crawfish Valley
Elevation: 2403 ft. This site can be easily accessed using FR 727. After 6.0 miles, the road is gated, prohibiting further motorized access, but provides an ideal path for walking, bicycling or horseback riding. The site's level terrain and restricted access road make this an ideal area for handicapped access. The road continues for several miles where it becomes a trail that crosses the Appalachian Trail and then descends into Bear Creek Valley. Crawfish Valley is a spectacular valley passing through some of the least disturbed habitat in southwest Virginia. The valley is a mixture of mature riparian woodland along Reed Creek flanked by hardwood forest along the adjoining hillsides. This area is interspersed with shrubby meadows and marshland in several low-lying areas. The diverse habitats produce an equally amazing diversity of birds. Ruffed grouse and wild turkey are constant voices heard beside the road and are often seen walking along it. This is especially true during early summer when the adults are joined by the year's young. Great selections of warblers inhabit the valley, including northern parula, blue, golden-winged, black-and-white, Blackburnian warblers, American redstart, ovenbird, and common yellowthroat. Many more woodland species maintain a strong presence in the Valley.
From the Dark Horse Hollow Picnic Area, continue south on US 52 for 0.9 miles to Rt. 680. Turn right on Rt. 680 and travel west 5.2 miles to Rt. 625. Turn right on Rt. 625 and continue 6.0 miles until the gravel road ends in a parking area.