Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Site Contact: Director, (540) 635-7171 email@example.com
- Site Access: Daily, sunrise-sunset; admission free
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Site MFR08: Northern Virginia 4-H Educational and Conference Center
Elevation: 1968 ft. The 4-H Educational and Conference Center is situated on 229 acres of fields and woodland on the eastern flank of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The grounds of the center host several trails that eventually meet up with the Appalachian Trail as it stretches along the ridge-top. The diverse habitats support numerous birds including great crested flycatcher, yellow-billed cuckoo, common raven, cedar waxwing, gray catbird, American robin, and American goldfinch. The center's location provides a clear view of the surrounding valley and ridges with the opportunity to see soaring raptors such as red-tailed, broad-winged and Cooper's hawks and both black and turkey vultures. A small pond near the center of the property holds many eastern painted turtles as well as a variety of dragonflies, including black saddlebags, widow skimmer, eastern amberwing, and common green darner. Numerous plantings throughout the property attract clouds of butterflies. Red-spotted purple, silver-spotted skipper, as well as eastern tiger, spicebush, and zebra swallowtails, great spangled fritillary and hackberry emperor all occur.
From Lake Frederick, return to US 340/US 522 South and follow US 522 South 11.7 miles through Front Royal to Rt. 604. Turn right and continue south on Rt. 604 for 1.9 miles to Rt. 602. Turn left on Rt. 602 and travel 0.2 miles to the entrance of the Northern Virginia 4-H Educational & Conference Center.