Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
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- Site Access: Free, Daily
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Site MFT06: Ramseys Draft
Elevation: 2320 ft. The Ramsey's Draft watershed includes some virgin forests, with large maples, oaks, and hickories, and some scattered pines. Several large hemlocks line the creek bed. Ramsey's Draft is probably popular among birders because it provides nesting grounds for neotropical migrants that typically nest at high elevations. At higher elevations along the trail (to Shenandoah Mountain, the next site), you can find black-capped chickadee, Blackburnian and black-throated blue warblers, and scarlet tanager. At lower elevations, nesting species include wood thrush, northern parula, and American redstart. In the spring and fall, migrant songbirds can be plentiful. Year-round, look for wild turkey, ruffed grouse, and red-shouldered hawk. The trails throughout Ramsey's Draft are extensive and can lead to exploration of several different habitats at varying altitudes. While on the trail, keep an eye out for black bear and red fox. Trails within Ramsey's Draft Wilderness are maintained at a minimum level. Ramsey's Draft Trail crosses the stream many times, and can be impassable during high water. There is a group size limit of 10 people within the wilderness.
From Braley Pond, return to US 250, turn right (west) and follow it for approximately 4.9 miles to Ramsey's Draft at the Mountain House Picnic Area on the right.