Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Site Contact: (540) 396-3495
- Site Access: Free By appointment only
Site MLI06: Gobblers Nob Christmas Tree Plantation
Elevation: 1935 ft. Yes, this is a site where year-round, it's "beginning to look a lot like Christmas!" Surrounding the plantation of 15,000-20,000 Christmas trees, however, are 268 acres of upland hardwood forests, several beaver ponds, and streamside habitat. Elevation ranges from 1900 feet to over 2300 feet. In the beaver ponds, look for nesting wood duck or green heron. The woodland forests hold treasures such as nesting scarlet tanager, American redstart, wood thrush, and hooded warbler. Resident species include pileated woodpecker and red-shouldered hawk. Salamanders such as red-backed and northern slimy salamanders can be found under logs around the creek. Red eft can be found lurking along the moist woodland floors. Ponds attract aquatic insects such as common green darner, blue dasher, widow skimmer, and eastern pondhawk. Butterflies dance around blooming wildflowers; look for pipevine and eastern tiger swallowtail, monarch, and red-spotted purple. This site also contains a large population of wild turkey and a modest population of ruffed grouse. White-tailed deer are numerous and easily seen, while black bear, red fox, and bobcat are more elusive.
From the Highland Wildlife Management Area-Jack Mountain Access, return to Rt. 615; turn right and follow it east 1.8 miles to Rt. 678. Turn right on Rt. 678; Gobblers Nob will be on the right after 1.9 miles.