Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Site Contact: (828) 298-0398
- Site Access: Free, Daily
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Site MSL07: Rocky Knob/Rock Castle Gorge Trails
Elevation: 3209 ft. This extensive 10.8-mile loop trail ranges in elevation from 1700 feet to 3572 feet at Rocky Knob. Encompassing 4500 acres of land, this site abuts the boundaries of both the Blue Ridge Plateau and the Virginia Piedmont. Rock Castle Gorge, a 1500-foot ravine, carved by the waters of Rock Castle Creek, is the focal point of this trail. Several trails originate at this trailhead. A visitor center is located north of this parking lot, on the west side of the road near Rocky Knob picnic area. Check in at the visitor center and ask for a trail map. Spring can be very productive for large numbers of warblers, thrushes, and vireos. Cerulean, blackpoll and yellow-rumped warblers are likely to be found during migration. Nesting species include American redstart, black-throated green and Kentucky warblers, and abundant indigo bunting.This rejuvenated area contains over 60 species of native trees and 200 species of wildflowers. Wild turkey, red fox, woodchuck, white-tailed deer, and bobcat are local denizens. Most services listed for this site are available at Mile Post 167 and some services may only be available during summer months.
From Chateau Morrisette Winery, return to Rt. 726, turn right and then immediately left onto the Blue Ridge Parkway. Go north on the Blue Ridge Parkway for 2.6 miles to milepost 169 and the parking lot for the trailhead on the right.