Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Site Contact: (540) 897-5401 email@example.com
- Site Access: Hunting license, freshwater fishing license, boat registration, or access permit required.
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Site MIO05: Paint Bank Trout Hatchery
Elevation: 2110 ft. This state fish hatchery, just south of Paint Bank, provides a unique look into the trout rearing and stocking process. Numerous concrete tanks hold up to 1.6 million trout in all stages of development, thus providing an easy viewing experience. In addition to the occasional great blue heron that may drop in for a snack, the woodlands around the hatchery support a variety of wildlife. Eastern phoebe, American goldfinch and song sparrows can be seen perched on the hatchery's perimeter fence. The woods themselves hold numerous common species, while turkey vultures can often be seen soaring overhead or perched in the surrounding trees. The creek, which runs along the edge of the property, should be checked for butterflies, such as eastern tiger and spicebush swallowtails, silver-spotted skipper, and a variety of sulphurs and whites. Dragonflies in the area include the black saddlebags. At dusk, white-tailed deer emerge from their woodland haunts to graze on the soft grass of the picnic area.
From the Hall Road area, return to SR 42 and turn right; travel east 11.3 miles to SR 311 in New Castle. Go northwest (left) on SR 311 for 14.7 miles to the parking area on the left.