Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
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Site MLI01: Blue Grass Valley
Elevation: 2689 ft. This driving loop spans the Blue Grass Valley at a mean elevation of 3000 feet. A few pull-offs along this road are excellent places to stop and look for hunting raptors and open fields birds. In the summer, this is a great area to find American goldfinch, field sparrow, red-winged blackbird, several species of swallows, and eastern kingbird. Along woodland edges visitors should look for eastern bluebird and orchard oriole. This driving loop is, perhaps, best known among birders for its population of wintering golden eagles. Other wintering birds to look for include rough-legged hawk, American tree sparrow and common redpoll. One special place to visit in Highland County that is not on the Trail is Laurel Fork Special Management Area in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest. To get there, travel into West Virginia on US 250 and then head north on WV 28. Watch for the turn to Locust Spring Recreation Site just before entering Pendleton County, WV.
From I-81 in Staunton, take US 250 West for 51.9 miles to its intersection with US 220 in Monterey. Turn right onto US 220 North and continue for 6.5 miles to Rt. 642. Turn left onto Rt. 642 and travel for 2.5 miles to Rt. 640. Continue south on Rt. 640 through Blue Grass Valley for 7.2 miles to US 250.