Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Site Contact: (540) 828-6475
- Site Access: Daily, sunrise-sunset; admission free
Site MLS07: Mountain View Park (formerly Grottoes Town Park)
Elevation: 1070 ft. Grottoes Town Park provides easy access to the South River, and the adjoining fields and ponds are well worth exploring, especially during migration. The river itself is worth checking for water birds such as great blue and green herons, wood duck and belted kingfisher. Woods along the river can host a variety of sparrows in winter, and Baltimore oriole and warbling vireo in spring and summer. Moving away from the river and into the large open fields of the park, search for open country species such as eastern kingbird, indigo bunting, eastern bluebird and chipping sparrow. These open fields also host a variety of butterflies including spicebush swallowtail, orange sulphur and pearl crescent. The small marshy ponds located behind the baseball diamond are worth checking for sparrows in the winter and roosting blackbirds in the late summer and fall. During migration, black tern may drop in for a snack. Dragonflies and damselflies abound throughout the park. Species to look for include common whitetail, widow, twelve-spotted and slaty skimmers, common green darner, eastern pondhawk, and eastern amberwing. Damselflies are best found along the river, with American rubyspot, powdered dancer and ebony jewelwing all being numerous.
From Leonard's Pond, return to SR 276 and turn right, continuing south 3.5 miles to SR 256. Turn left and go 5.0 miles to Rt. 825. Turn left and head north approximately 1.0 mile to the park entrance on the left. Turn left and proceed 0.6 miles to entrance to the park on the right.