Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Site Contact: (540) 291-2188
- Site Access: Free, Daily
Site MPO07: Locher Tract
Elevation: 493 ft. These 378 acres of National Forest lands, known as the Locher Tract, offer one mile of riverfront property and two trailheads. The trails traverse upland hardwood forests, open pastures, beaver ponds, river bottoms, open river views, and various wetlands. Avian residents of these woods include barred owl, pileated woodpecker, white-breasted nuthatch, eastern bluebird, and blue-gray gnatcatcher. In the summer, nesting neotropical migrants, such as hooded and black-and-white warblers, wood thrush, and ovenbird may also be found. Views of the river can be productive in the fall and winter. Keep an eye out for osprey, bald eagle, and a variety of waterfowl and shorebirds. Wood duck are resident here most often found in small wooded outlets. Dragonflies such as prince baskettail, common green darner, and black-shouldered spinyleg patrol the James River. Damselflies such as blue-ringed and variable dancers are common along weedy riverbanks. White-tailed deer, woodchuck, eastern chipmunk, and gray squirrel also take residence within the Locher Tract. Reptilian denizens include black rat snake, northern copperhead, five-lined skink, and eastern garter snake.
From the Trail of Trees, return to US 501 and turn right, continuing north 9.6 miles to SR 130. Turn left on SR 130 and go 3.1 miles west to Rt. 759. Turn left onto Rt. 759/Arnold's Valley Road; travel for 0.8 miles to Rt. 782/James River Road. Turn left onto Rt. 782/James River Road and continue for 1.7 miles to its end and the parking lot for Locher Tract.