Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Site Contact: (276) 531-8528 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Site Access: Daily, sunrise-sunset; admission free
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Site MLP02: Poplar Gap Park/Sunset Hollow
Elevation: 2061 ft, Poplar Gap Park is a multi-use park that offers picnic areas, restrooms, playgrounds, and ballfields. The surrounding woodlands are typically second-growth timber and provide habitat for a diversity of wildlife. Though spring and summer migration are probably most productive for finding a large variety of neotropical bird species, a good number of warblers are present during the breeding season. Listen for the serenades of yellow-throated, Kentucky, black-throated green and hooded warblers. Within the park, you are likely to spy black-and-white warbler, eastern bluebird, and indigo bunting. The stretch of road along Rt. 604 from Poplar Gap Park, traveling southwest towards SR 83, is called Sunset Hollow. The areas surrounding the road offer examples of both second-growth forests and reclaimed strip mines, with a fair amount of clear open areas. There are several pull-offs along this road from where nature enthusiasts may pause for better views. Bird diversity may escalate to produce eastern meadowlark, red-winged blackbird, and orchard oriole. These reclaimed strip mines provide habitat at an early stage of succession suitable for species such as golden-winged warbler, which is known to breed in the area.
From the intersection of Rt. 680 and US 460, turn right onto US 460 West and follow it for 9.0 miles to the intersection with SR 83. Turn right, continuing on US 460 West/SR 83 East for 1.8 miles to Rt. 617. Turn left onto Rt. 617 and follow it for approximately 3.0 miles to Rt. 604. Poplar Gap Park is directly across Rt. 604.