Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
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Site MFT04: Crawford Mountain/North Mountain Trails/Elliott Knob
Elevation: 2607 ft. Elliott Knob forms the crest of Great North Mountain at an elevation of 4463 feet. The area can be productive for finding unique neotropical breeding songbirds. Mostly comprised of mature old-growth hardwood forests, with large oaks, maples, beech, and scattered pines, Elliott Knob is the nesting ground for scarlet tanager, black-throated blue warbler, and yellow-billed cuckoo. Spring and fall migration can bring a larger diversity of songbirds. Extensive and lengthy trails lead to high elevation points, offering open vistas from which broad-winged hawks might be seen during fall migration. Kettles of turkey vultures are almost directly at eye level. Snakes, such as northern copperhead, lurk in the leaf litter of the woodlands. Northern fence lizard and five-lined skink scatter along the forest floor as well. Though rarely seen, keep an eye out for mammals such as black bear and red fox.
From the Augusta Springs Wetland Trail, return north on SR 42 for 7.0 miles to Rt. 688. Turn left on Rt. 688/Old Parkersburg Turnpike, travel for 3.6 miles, and then turn left at the turnoff by the gate. The North Mountain Trail is south of the road; the Crawford Mountain Trail is north of the road. It is approximately a 4.5-mile hike to Elliot Knob (south from this parking area).