Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Site Contact: (540) 291-2121, email@example.com
- Site Access: Cedar Creek Trail - fee, daily, check website for hours (varies by season). Monacon Trail and Buck Hill Trail - free, daily, dawn - dusk
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Other Trails Nearby
Site MPO08: Natural Bridge of Virginia
At an elevation of 1116 ft., the impressive 200-300-foot limestone arch, spanning 100 feet in width, attracts a large number of visitors intrigued by both its rich, enchanting history and the beauty of its natural surroundings. The Cedar Creek Nature Trail offers visitors a delightful one-mile hike beneath (and through) the Natural Bridge along Cedar Creek. The creek holds treasures such as northern water snake and American bullfrog. Dragonflies such as widow and slaty skimmers patrol the creek bed in sunny spots, while the dazzling metallic ebony jewelwings line shaded creek banks. Along the creek, look for great blue and green herons, belted kingfisher, and numerous swallows. The woodlands hold a variety of woodpeckers, including red-bellied, pileated, and downy woodpeckers, as well as eastern screech owl, white-breasted nuthatch, and nesting yellow-billed cuckoo. Blooming wildflowers attract eastern tiger swallowtail, red-spotted purple, common buckeye, and red admiral. A list of wildflowers along this trail, which includes trillium, Virginia bluebells, columbine, and flame azalea, is available at the visitor's center. Virginia's Natural Bridge also offers two new backcountry trails: the Monacan Trail and the Buck Hill Trail. The Monacan Trail is a 3.3 mile loop that pays homage to the original inhabitants of the region. The well-signed trail begins and ends directly behind the historic Natural Bridge Hotel. It takes hikers through a variety of habitats: forest transitional zones, forested stream ravines and open meadow. A man-made dam located along Monacan Trail, near artist Mark Cline's "Foamhenge," has created an artificial wetland environment ripe with associated bird species. The 2 mile Buck Hill Trail takes observers to the summit of Buck Hill. It is currently an out-and-back trail, but future plans include looping it back to the hotel area. Buck Hill trail begins in the picnic area adjacent to the parking lot for the Caverns at Natural Bridge. Not only is Buck Hill rich in birds and other wildlife, it also offers nature lovers a unique opportunity to view surface karst features such as sinkholes and ravines. Vernal pools along Buck Hill Trail contain diverse populations of amphibians and reptiles
From the Locher Tract, return to SR 130 and turn left, heading west for 3.1 miles to the Natural Bridge of Virginia entrance and gift shop on the left.