Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Site Contact: (540) 921-4340 email@example.com
- Site Access: Free, Daily
Site MLN08: River Trail - Pembroke to Ripplemead
Elevation: 1599 ft. The New River passes under US 460 twice on its 3-mile voyage to Ripplemead. This short trip is perfect for a short day out on the river. The scenery along this stretch is a mixture of cliffs and broad slopes of forested mountains. The looming ridge of Peters Mountain to the north appears blue in the haze of West Virginia. The short distance of this stretch provides the opportunity to look more closely along the banks of the New River. In many areas, the banks hold the tangled branches of massive hickories and sycamores that have fallen during heavy winds or the New River's infamous floods. These floating mats provide habitat for a number of more retiring species, including northern water and queen snakes, along with the more numerous eastern painted turtle. The higher branches provide the perfect vantage point for a belted kingfisher to survey for the next meal, while the lower branches support green heron ready to pick fingerlings from just below the surface. The recently invading Canada geese can be seen along the length of the river, while the more retiring wood duck seems to stick to the more shaded stretches of river.
Return to Rt. 730, turn right, and follow it 1.1 miles to Rt. 772. Turn left and head north on Rt. 772/Sinking Creek Road for 3.1 miles to Rt. 771. Turn left onto Rt. 771 and then almost immediately turn right onto US 460. Proceed west on US 460 (4-lane highway) for 1.9 miles into Pembroke to Snidow Street. Turn left and bear to the right immediately; travel 0.3 miles to River Road/Rt. 623. Turn left onto Rt. 623 and continue 0.3 miles to the boat landing. Site viewable only by boat.