Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Site Contact: (276) 676-5673 Claiborne.Woodall@dcr.virginia.gov
- Site Access: Free, Daily
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Site MSW01: Grassy Hill Natural Area Preserve
Elevation: 1460 ft. The Grassy Hill Natural Area Preserve is conveniently located just outside of Rocky Mount. Once the area is developed for visitors, it will provide access to 1295 acres of deciduous forest intermingled with a few Virginia pines. Birds to search for in this habitat include red-bellied and downy woodpeckers, Carolina chickadee, tufted titmouse, Carolina wren, northern cardinal and blue jay. In winter the snowy slopes of the grassy hill could support white-throated sparrow and dark-eyed junco, while raptors such as red-tailed and red-shouldered hawks could turn up at any time of year. The unusual soil and rock substrates found at Grassy Hill provide habitat for rare woodland communities. Several rare plants grow in small grassy openings near the hill's summit. It's also worth checking along the edge of the woods for a variety of butterflies or the occasional dragonfly.
From I-581 in Roanoke, travel south on US 220 for 19.9 miles to US 220 Business north of Rocky Mount. Exit onto US 220 Business and travel southwest 0.3 miles to Rt. 919 and turn right. The preserve borders Rt. 919 for the next mile.