Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
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Site MSC06: Chestnut Ridge Trail
Elevation: 1567 ft. This 5.4-mile moderately difficult hike meanders through typical eastern hardwood forests. Predominant woodland species include large oak and maple trees, with a good amount of lush understory in some areas and natural brush piles in others. Summer breeders include ovenbird, wood thrush, yellow-billed cuckoo, eastern wood-pewee, and black-and-white warbler. In migration, these trails can come alive with neotropical migrants. In fall, birders may find fortune in multiple thrush species; in addition to American robin, look in the brush piles for hermit, gray-cheeked, Swainson's, and wood thrushes. Pileated woodpecker and Cooper's hawk are year-round residents within these woods. White-tailed deer, wild turkey, and ruffed grouse are common. Look for herp denizens such as northern copperhead, five-lined skink, and eastern box turtle.
From Virginia's Explore Park, return to the Blue Ridge Parkway and continue south 5.1 miles to Mill Mountain Parkway on the right (this is located at milepost 120.5). Turn right and go 1.0 miles to the pull out designated overlook for the Chestnut Ridge Trail on the right.