Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
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- Site Access: Free, Daily
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Site MRV06: Hanging Rock Battlefield Trail
Elevation: 1128 ft. This 1.7-mile cinder-surfaced trail meanders alongside Masons Creek, and includes interpretive signage describing the Civil War Battle of Hanging Rock. Riparian woodland birding is probably best during the spring. However, even in the summer a nice morning stroll can be productive for finding neotropical nesting species. American redstart, red-eyed vireo and black-and white warbler dart among the lower branches of creekside woodlands. Green heron wade in the creeks, hunting for a meal, while Louisiana waterthrush, bobbing its tail as it hops along the creek bottom bedrock, forages more actively. Eastern phoebe, a perching tail-pumper, sallies from tree to tree, taking its prey in flight. The resident northern watersnake can be found waiting for the perfect moment to make its move on one of the numerous pickerel frogs that hang out along the creek's edge. Ebony jewelwing, a woodland damselfly, flits about the understory, but stays within its territory unlike fluttering woodland butterflies such as common wood-nymph, satyrs, and azures. This trail is well-maintained and well-traveled by local members of the community. Perhaps it is most popular as a recreational walking/jogging trail, but there is much nature to be explored by the patient naturalist.
North Trailhead: From Havens WMA, return to the intersection of SR 311 and SR 419. Turn left onto SR 419 and travel south for 0.1 mile to Dutch Oven Road (south of SR 311). Turn left on Dutch Oven Road and follow the curve for less than 0.2 miles to the parking lot on the left. South Trailhead: From Havens WMA, return to the intersection of SR 311 and SR 419. Turn right onto SR 311/SR 419 for less than 0.1 miles to Rt. 630/Kessler Mill Road. Turn left onto Rt. 630/Kessler Mill Road and follow 0.5 miles to the parking lot under the bridge.