Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail

Site Information

  • Site Contact: (540) 925-2426
  • Site Access: Admission Fee, By appointment only


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Site MHJ02: Sycamore Bend Cabin and River Retreat


Elevation: 1608 ft. The 360 acres that comprise Sycamore Bend includes riverine, open meadow, wetlands, and hardwood forest habitats. On-site is a working farm, situated within the Cowpasture River Valley in scenic Bath County. The diversity of habitats, in addition to its secluded location, makes this site a good venue for wildlife viewing. Great blue and green herons and an occasional bald eagle may be found along the riverbanks, while barn and northern rough-winged swallows survey the river in flight. Open fields are abuzz with dragonflies, such as white-faced meadowhawk, and a variety of butterflies, such as red-spotted purple, meadow and great spangled fritillaries, and common buckeye. American goldfinch and eastern bluebird may also be found in these open spaces. Hardwood and mixed forests are summer homes to nesting migrants, such as wood thrush, ovenbird, American redstart, black-and-white warbler, and eastern wood-pewee. Permanent residents include pileated and red-headed woodpeckers, red-shouldered hawk, and eastern screech-owl. Mammalian denizens of this site include white-tailed deer, muskrat, black bear, coyote, and red fox. A late 19th century Appalachian log cabin, situated in one of the most secluded riverside areas within this property, is available for visitors interested in spending a couple of nights.


From the Coursey Springs State Fish Hatchery, turn left on Rt. 678/Indian Draft Road. Follow Rt. 678 for approximately 4.0 miles to a Y' in the road and bear right on Rt. 625/River Road. Follow Rt. 625 for approximately 2.6 miles. You will pass a sign for Ft. Lewis and a turn for Rt. 624. Sycamore Bend is the first driveway on the right after Rt. 624.

Loop Map