Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Site Contact: (540) 432-2335 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Site Access: Admission Fee, Daily
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Site MNR10: Natural Chimneys Regional Park
Elevation: 1348 ft. Natural Chimneys Regional Park exhibits some of the incredible geology of western Virginia. Remnants of rock once carved by a shallow sea remind the visitor of the massive timeframes needed to create formations we see today. The park also serves as a great place to search out wildlife. The open grassy areas around the chimney host open country species such as eastern kingbird, eastern bluebird, American robin, American goldfinch and chipping sparrow. The neighboring scrubby brush land and secondary forest support other familiar species such as eastern phoebe, eastern wood-pewee, Carolina chickadee, tufted titmouse, Carolina wren, blue jay, northern cardinal and eastern towhee. The North River runs through the property and, when rainfall keeps it flowing, it supports a variety of water birds including herons and waterfowl. Butterflies to look for around the park include eastern tiger and spicebush swallowtails, tawny emperor and pearl crescent.
From Todd Lake, return to the intersection of FR 95 and proceed east 1.0 mile to Rt. 730. Turn right and travel 3.6 miles to Rt. 731. Turn right onto Rt. 731 and proceed 0.3 miles to Natural Chimneys Regional Park on the left. To return to the interstate, return to Rt. 731, turn left and continue for 1.0 mile. At Rt. 747, turn left and follow it to SR 42. Turn left on SR 42 and continue north to SR 257. Turn right on SR 257 and follow it to I-81. From here, travel north to New Market and begin the Lost Shoe Loop or south to begin the Forest Trails Loop.