Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
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- Site Access: Free, Daily
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Site MPO06: Trail of the Trees
Elevation: 731 ft. This short 0.5-mile loop trail offers hikers river bottomland habitats, upland hardwood-hemlock forests, and several overlooks with views of the James River. This short self-guided tour can be productive for birders during spring and fall migration. On the river, one may find waterfowl such as blue-winged teal in the spring. Fall migration is more likely to bring fly-over migrants, such as broad-winged hawk, osprey, and common nighthawk. Nesting avian species include scarlet tanager, wood thrush, Baltimore oriole, and warbling vireo. Cliff swallows build their nests beneath the bridge, but patrol the river along with barn and tree swallows. In the winter, the river holds bufflehead, hooded merganser, and American black duck. However, during inclement weather, the Blue Ridge Parkway may be closed, so you may want to call ahead. Site MPO07 Locher Tract
Return to Business 501 and proceed North (West) to US 501 North. Follow US 501 North for approximately 14 miles, through Big Island, to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Travel north on the Blue Ridge Parkway for 0.4 miles, crossing the bridge over the river, to the James River Visitor's Center. The Trail of Trees can be accessed from the visitor's center (milepost 63.8).