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Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail

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  • Site Contact: (540) 999-3433, james_atkinson@nps.gov
  • Site Access: Daily, sunrise-sunset; admission fee
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Site MSD01: Fox Hollow Discovery Trail, Shenandoah National Park

Description

Elevation: 1938 ft. The Fox Hollow Discovery Trail serves as an excellent introduction to the forests along Skyline Drive. This easy 1.2-mile walk takes the visitor to an old homestead and cemetery reminding us that Shenandoah National Park has actually returned to forest after being heavily cleared only 70 years ago. Birds to look for along the trail include hairy woodpecker, northern flicker, Carolina chickadee, tufted titmouse, Carolina wren, northern cardinal, red-eyed vireo and eastern towhee. Turkey vultures and occasionally black vultures can be seen soaring overhead. In the open areas near the beginning of the trail look out for indigo bunting and American goldfinch. In the spring, American redstart may be quite abundant in certain areas. The small spring situated roughly halfway along the trail is a good place to search for pickerel frog and several species of salamander. Frogs can often be seen in the spring while salamanders may be found by turning over a few rocks just downhill. Butterflies abound among the wildflowers along the trail. Search for hackberry emperor, great spangled fritillary, and eastern tiger and spicebush swallowtails as you meander through the woods.

Directions

From I-66 in Linden (Exit #13) go south to SR 55 West. Turn right on SR 55 and follow it 5.0 miles into Front Royal. At the intersection with US 340 turn left and follow US 340 South. Approximately 0.5 miles south of Front Royal, turn left into Shenandoah National Park and take Skyline Drive south 4.0 miles to the Dickey Ridge Visitor Center. The trail starts on the east side of the road across from the Visitor Center.

Loop Map