Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Site Contact: (540) 248-9360, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Site Access: Daily. Hunting license, freshwater fishing license, boat registration, or access permit required.
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Site MLI05: Highland WMA - Jack Mountain/Buck Hill Road
Elevation: 2392 ft. This extensive, 14,000+-acre wildlife management area encompasses a diversity of habitats and wildlife. Altitude within this site spans over 2000 feet, with the lowest elevation of 1800 feet along Bullpasture River to over 4000 feet at the top of Sounding Knob on the Jack Mountain Tract. In addition to riverine habitats, this site offers mature oak-hickory hardwood forests, mixed woodlands, red spruce stands, and early succession fields. Due to the varied habitats and elevation, the diversity of nesting migrants includes scarlet tanager, rose-breasted grosbeak, and Kentucky, hooded, black-throated blue, and black-throated green warblers. Common resident avian resident species include pileated woodpecker, ruffed grouse, and red-shouldered hawk. Wild turkey is also abundant throughout this area. Birding is typically best in the spring and fall, when migrant thrushes, warblers, and vireos are numerous. Black bear, as well as red and gray foxes, make their homes in these woods, but are often elusive to the onlooker. Look for salamanders such as northern dusky and red-backed salamanders, as well as other amphibians such as pickerel frog.
From Cloud Hill Farm return to US 220 North and follow it to US 250 East in Monterey. Drive east 7.8 miles to Rt. 615. Turn right and travel south on Rt. 615 for 2.4 miles to metal pole gate on the right, about 0.1 mile past the WMA sign. Parking is available in the adjacent clearing.