Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Site Contact: (540) 593-2185, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Site Access: Free, Daily but check with innkeepers before exploring property
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Site MSL05: Harmony Farm Bed & Breakfast
Elevation: 3325 ft. This charming bed and breakfast is an eco-retreat that sits amidst 90 acres of varied habitat. Five blazed trails traverse hardwood forests, shrub and berry patches, open meadows, rhododendron thickets, and rocky creek bottoms. In addition, wildflower and vegetable gardens are well maintained on the property. Hardwood forests are home to nesting wood thrush, hooded warbler, scarlet tanager, red-eyed vireo, and eastern wood-pewee. Permanent residents of the forest include pileated woodpecker, eastern screech-owl, and white-breasted nuthatch. In open areas, look and listen for eastern meadowlark, American goldfinch, and northern bobwhite. Fourteen bluebird boxes have accommodated numerous eastern bluebirds. At the higher elevations, in open areas interspersed with shrubbery and a few trees, look for chipping sparrow, brown thrasher, eastern towhee, blue-gray gnatcatcher, house finch, and indigo bunting. Creekside rocks may be protecting northern dusky and red-backed salamanders beneath. The elegant woodland damselfly, ebony jewelwing, may be found flashing its contrasting black and iridescent blue/green along these creeks. Wild turkey and white-tailed deer are numerous throughout the property, as are eastern chipmunk. Extensive wildflower gardens attract numerous butterflies including great spangled and meadow fritillaries, pipevine, spicebush, and eastern tiger swallowtail, red admiral, silver-spotted skipper, American snout, eastern-tailed blue, cabbage white, clouded sulphur, and several species of skippers, including Hobomok's, dun, and least skippers. The woods hold treasures such as Appalachian brown, common-wood nymph, and in more open areas, American copper.
From Buffalo Mountain Natural Area Preserve, return to the intersection of Rt. 727 and Rt. 604. Turn right on Rt. 604 and go 1.4 miles to Rt. 799. Turn left on Rt. 799 and go 0.9 miles to Rt. 805. Turn right on Rt. 805 and follow it 1.8 miles to Rt. 726/Black Ridge Road. Turn right and head east on Rt. 726/Black Ridge Road for 0.7 miles to Harmony Farm Bed & Breakfast on the right.