Virginia.gov

Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail

Site Information

  • Site Contact: (540) 328-2931, lnutt@fs.fed.us
  • Site Access: Daily, 10:00am-8:00pm; admission fee required
  • Visit Website

Facilities

Hiking Trails Parking Restrooms

eBird:
Report Bird Observations [New]

Site MLP09: North Fork of the Pound & Phillip's Creek Recreation Area

Description

Elevation: 1758 ft., The North Fork of the Pound includes 5000 acres of extensive lake and riverside habitat that can be enjoyed by nature enthusiasts at several locales. The lake may be of greater interest during migration when congregations of shorebirds and waterfowl are at their peak. However, only the Phillips Creek Recreation Area offers a complete trail that traverses a diversity of habitats. The Phillips Creek Loop Trail wanders through mature hemlock and hardwood forests, dense rhododendron thickets, and uphill towards oak and hickory woodlands, with the occasional presence of shortleaf or pitch pine. The trail forms a loop, but also connects to the Pine Mountain Trail for those interested in a longer hike. This site is perhaps best known for producing the elusive Swainson's warbler during the breeding season. Look and listen for this bird along streamside rhododendron thickets. Other birds you'll likely find along this trail in the summer include scarlet and summer tanagers, hooded, Kentucky, Canada, black-throated green, and black-throated blue warblers. During migration, neotropical passerines should be plentiful. This is also a good spot to look for salamanders. Turning over rocks and logs in moist forest floors or around water's edge can produce northern slimy and northern dusky salamanders. Red eft crawl alongside colorful millipedes along the forest floors while their aquatic counterpart, the red-spotted newt, can be found in shallow edges of lakes, ponds, and streams. Elevation: 1758 ft. The North Fork of the Pound includes 5000 acres of extensive lake and riverside habitat that can be enjoyed by nature enthusiasts at several locales. The lake may be of greater interest during migration when congregations of shorebirds and waterfowl are at their peak. However, only the Phillips Creek Recreation Area offers a complete trail that traverses a diversity of habitats. The Phillips Creek Loop Trail wanders through mature hemlock and hardwood forests, dense rhododendron thickets, and uphill towards oak and hickory woodlands, with the occasional presence of shortleaf or pitch pine. The trail forms a loop, but also connects to the Pine Mountain Trail for those interested in a longer hike. This site is perhaps best known for producing the elusive Swainson's warbler during the breeding season. Look and listen for this bird along streamside rhododendron thickets. Other birds you'll likely find along this trail in the summer include scarlet and summer tanagers, hooded, Kentucky, Canada, black-throated green, and black-throated blue warblers. During migration, neotropical passerines should be plentiful. This is also a good spot to look for salamanders. Turning over rocks and logs in moist forest floors or around water's edge can produce northern slimy and northern dusky salamanders. Red eft crawl alongside colorful millipedes along the forest floors while their aquatic counterpart, the red-spotted newt, can be found in shallow edges of lakes, ponds, and streams. Elevation: 1758 ft. The North Fork of the Pound includes 5000 acres of extensive lake and riverside habitat that can be enjoyed by nature enthusiasts at several locales. The lake may be of greater interest during migration when congregations of shorebirds and waterfowl are at their peak. However, only the Phillips Creek Recreation Area offers a complete trail that traverses a diversity of habitats. The Phillips Creek Loop Trail wanders through mature hemlock and hardwood forests, dense rhododendron thickets, and uphill towards oak and hickory woodlands, with the occasional presence of shortleaf or pitch pine. The trail forms a loop, but also connects to the Pine Mountain Trail for those interested in a longer hike. This site is perhaps best known for producing the elusive Swainson's warbler during the breeding season. Look and listen for this bird along streamside rhododendron thickets. Other birds you'll likely find along this trail in the summer include scarlet and summer tanagers, hooded, Kentucky, Canada, black-throated green, and black-throated blue warblers. During migration, neotropical passerines should be plentiful. This is also a good spot to look for salamanders. Turning over rocks and logs in moist forest floors or around water's edge can produce northern slimy and northern dusky salamanders. Red eft crawl alongside colorful millipedes along the forest floors while their aquatic counterpart, the red-spotted newt, can be found in shallow edges of lakes, ponds, and streams.

Directions

From Cranes Nest River Trail, return west on SR 83 for 11.9 miles to US 23 BUS/Main Street. Turn right on US 23 BUS/Main Street and follow it for 0.6 miles to Rt. 671. Turn left and travel west on Rt. 671 for 6.0 miles to Phillips Recreation Area. Access to other regions of the North Fork of the Pound (Wise Launching Area and Cane Patch and Bee Bottom Camping areas) can also be accessed off this road. To access other sites on the North Fork of the Pound, such as Tailwater Area, Overlook Area, Pound Launching and Picnicking Area, Hopkins Branch and Acorn Ridge Primitive Area, and Laurel Fork Area, exit Rt. 630 and travel west. Rt. 630 is located 0.8 miles further north than Rt. 671 off of US 23. To return to Norton and US 58 ALT, go back to US 23 and follow it 13.5 miles south to Norton. Continue the Trail by traveling the Appalachian Wonders Loop.

Loop Map