Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Site Contact: (828) 298-0398
- Site Access: Free, Daily
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Site MSL08: Saddle Overlook, Blue Ridge Parkway
Elevation: 3388 ft. This overlook offers a short trail to an open field from which hawk watchers enjoy the migration of raptors in the fall. While broad-winged hawks comprise the majority of raptors migrating southward, one could also spy osprey, bald eagle, Cooper's, sharp-shinned, and red-tailed hawks, and American kestrel. During the spring and summer, this area is alive with other avian activity. Look for indigo bunting, American goldfinch, chipping sparrow, eastern towhee, and gray catbird. Blooming milkweeds and asters attract eastern tiger swallowtail and other vibrant butterflies. Most services listed for this site are available at M.P. 169.
From Rocky Knob/Rock Castle Gorge Trails, continue northeast along the Blue Ridge Parkway 1.0 mile to the parking lot for the trailhead on the right.