Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail

Site Information

  • Site Contact: (540) 568-3194
  • Site Access: Free, Daily - Dawn to Dusk
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Site MLS03A: Edith J. Carrier Arboretum and Botanical Garden at James Madison University


The Edith J. Carrier Arboretum and Botanical Gardens on the James Madison University campus in Harrisonburg is an oasis of serentity in the midst of a bustling urban landscape. With its forested slopes, lowland swale, pond and forested savannah, the arboretum provides a unique setting for a wide divesity of flora and fauna. Thera are over 3 miles of winding trails to explore the 125-acre woodland preserve. The oak-hickory dominated forest hosts a variety of spring and fall migrants, including blackpoll and bay-breasted warblers. Nesting songbirds include white-eyed and red-eyed vireo, white-breated nuthatch, eastern towhee, eastern wood-peewee, Acadian flycatcher, Swainson's thrush and American redstart. The botanical gardens provide an ever-changing display of blooms attracting a myriad of pollinators throughout the growing season. In summer, the pond is home to swarms of dragonflies and damselflies dominated by eastern pond hawk, widow skimmer, common whitetail, and eastern amberwing. If you prefer exploring nature through educational programs, the arboretum offers classes, lectures, tours, travel programs and other special events.


From Long Run Road, continue south n Rt. 612 3.7 miles to the stop sign. Turn right and continue 1.5 miles to US 33. Travel East on US 33 for 11.3 miles, crossing over I-81, to the light at University Blvd. At the light turn right then travel 1.1 miles to the Arboretum and the first or second stone gated entrance on the left.

Loop Map