Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
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- Site Access: Free, Daily
Site MLI03: Paddy Knob Lookout
Elevation: 3071 ft. Located along the ridgeline that forms the West Virginia/Virginia border, Paddy Knob Lookout peaks at an elevation of 4477 feet. Surrounded by mature hardwood forests with a lush sassafras understory, and blackberry-bush edges, this site is best known among birders for housing unusual breeding species in Virginia, such as mourning warbler, yellow-bellied sapsucker, and black-billed cuckoo. Other breeding birds within these forests include dark-eyed junco, cedar waxwing, veery, American redstart, and black-throated blue and black-throated green warblers. Ruffed grouse and wild turkey are numerous throughout. In the fall, migrant raptors, especially broad-winged hawks can be seen flying overhead in numbers. Recently an upland sandpiper was flushed from the forest's edge. The abundance of sassafras attracts spicebush swallowtail. Also look for eastern tiger swallowtail, red admiral, great spangled fritillary and pipevine swallowtail. Other wildlife encounters could include black bear, red fox, and numerous white-tailed deer.
From Bear Mountain Farm and Wilderness Retreat, return to the intersection of US 250 and Rt. 640. Turn right on Rt. 640 and follow it south 4.4 miles to SR 84. Turn right on SR 84 and head west for 12.7 miles. Directly across from the "Welcome to West Virginia" sign (but still in Virginia), turn left onto FR 55, a gravel road, and continue 3.5 miles to Paddy Knob. Park along the road.