Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Site Contact: Backcountry, (276) 356-9782, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Site Access: Open Daily; Fee for lodging/camping/day use
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Site MMR13A: Backcountry
Elevation: 2200 ft. Backcountry's Damascus location is a 100 acre private outdoor recreation center that borders the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest/Mount Rogers National Recreation Area. Over 10 miles of trails on the property link directly to the endless miles of trails in the Mount Rogers area. This provides endless opportunities for outdoor recreation, as well as a large number of birds and other wildlife that inhabit the large expanse of national forest and private lands in this area. Visitors should watch for a variety of flycatchers here including alder, yellow-bellied, great-crested and eastern kingbird. During winter months, rough-legged hawks, evening grosbeaks, rusty blackbirds and pine siskins have been documented in this area. During summer months, the area abounds with warblers from both low and high elevations. Wood thrush and whippoorwill are also common here. For those that are more interested in larger critters, black bear, wild turkey, fox squirrels and, of course, white-tailed deer are common visitors. There are also a variety of unique plants and in May and June the giant rhododendron and mountain laurel are in full bloom, a sight not to miss.
From Beartree Lake/Campground return to FR 837 and follow it back to US 58. Turn right onto US 58 and continue for 6.7 miles to SR 91. The two roads will run together for a short while through the Town of Damscus. Turn right on SR 91 and continue into the Town of Damascus staying on SR 91 in Town after it separates from US 58. Follow SR 91 for 1.4 miles to Rt. 605/Widener Valley Road. Turn right on Rt. 605/Widener Valley Road and follow this road for 4.2 miles to Rt. 731/Bucksbridge Road. Turn right onto Rt. 731/Bucksbridge Road and follow this for about 0.3 miles to Plum Drive and the Backcountry sign on the right. Turn return to the Interstate, turn left onto Rt. 731 and follow it back to SR 91. Turn right onto SR 91 and follow it north to Interstate I-81 to begin the South Holston Loop.