Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Site Contact: Ruth Pritchard, (540) 955-4389 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Site Access: Daily, sunrise-sunset; admission free
- Visit Website
Site MFR05: Smithfield Farm
Elevation: 492 ft. Smithfield Farm supports an historic bed and breakfast, set amongst the rolling hills of a working farm. The brick manor house was built in 1824 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The farm is the product of seven generations of cattle farmers and, in recent years, has branched out to support other livestock, including goats, pigs and chickens, all of which are now reared organically. These rolling acres provide an excellent spot to relax overnight so you can search for the area's wildlife. The combination of woodland, orchards, fields and riparian belts support a diversity of species. Birds to look for include red-tailed hawk, mourning dove, ruby-throated hummingbird, red-bellied and downy woodpeckers, eastern wood-pewee, great crested flycatcher, eastern kingbird, tree and barn swallows, and purple martin. The moist areas and fields of wildflowers that line the stream are an excellent place to search for butterflies and dragonflies. The results of pesticide-free farming practices are seen clearly in the clouds of pearl crescents, eastern tailed blues, and common checkered skippers that line the stream banks. A walk through the fields should produce eastern tiger, black, spicebush and pipevine swallowtails, as well as the occasional monarch. Dragon- and damselflies are represented by the ebony jewelwing that reside along the shadier stretches of stream and by the brash common whitetail that may appear anywhere along your walk.
From Snickers Gap, turn left onto SR 7; travel west 5.7 miles to Rt. 608/Wickliffe Rd. Turn right, and continue 3.1 miles north to the Smithfield Farm sign and gravel entrance on the left. Turn into the driveway and proceed 0.6 miles to the farm and parking area