Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Site Contact: (540) 635-3341 email@example.com
- Site Access: Daily, sunrise-sunset; admission free
- Visit Website
Site MFR09: Eastham Park (formerly South Landing Conservancy Park)
Elevation: 438 ft. A mix of old and new, this location is the former site of the bridge that was the southern access point to Front Royal and will be the access point to the evolving new Avtex environmental renewal site. Two hundred and twenty plus acres of this former rayon factory are being converted to a mixed habitat of wetlands, butterfly friendly meadows and hardwoods. The landing in its current form allows easy access to the South Fork of the Shenandoah River where the visitor can see the native bass and sun perch sporting in the riffles. In spring and summer, mallards, wood ducks and herons abound with spotted sandpipers and woodcock on the riverbanks and Baltimore orioles nesting in nearly every riverside sycamore. In winter, look for red-headed ducks and bald eagles. During migration, snow geese, swans and eagles are seen, with huge numbers of broad-winged hawks and monarch butterflies passing en masse in mid-September. Open country species, such as American woodcock and wild turkey, are present, along with abundant white-tailed deer and an occasional black bear. Riverside wildflowers, such as cardinal flower with their attendant hummingbirds, are plentiful, as are swallowtails of all sorts puddling along the river. You may also be lucky enough to spot America's largest butterfly, the giant swallowtail, whose far northern range includes this site.
From the Northern Virginia 4-H Center, return to US 522 North and follow it north 1.4 miles to Criser Rd. Turn left on Criser Rd. and continue 1.2 miles to Luray Road. Turn left onto Luray Road and travel 0.2 miles to the river and parking.