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Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail

Site Information

  • Site Contact: (540) 656-5172 tharned@ci.martinsville.va.us
  • Site Access: Free, Daily
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Facilities

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Site MTC04: Uptown Rail Trail

Description

Elevation: 999 ft. The woodland in downtown Martinsville is composed primarily of oaks, maples and hickory with yellow poplar, sycamore and sassafras making an occasional appearance. These woods line the disused railway line that winds itself through central Martinsville. As elsewhere in Virginia the utilization of disused railway lines as hiking and biking trails has been highly successful. Once the Martinsville Uptown Rail Trail is up and running, it should provide an additional venue for wildlife viewing. Birds to anticipate in the area include mourning dove, yellow-billed cuckoo, common nighthawk, chimney swift, ruby-throated hummingbird, red-bellied and downy woodpeckers, northern flicker, eastern wood-pewee, eastern phoebe, eastern kingbird, eastern bluebird, indigo bunting, eastern towhee, chipping and song sparrows, red-winged blackbird, and eastern meadowlark. Visitors in spring and fall can anticipate additional migrant passerines. Side woodlands along the trail and their associated wildflowers support a variety of butterflies as well. These could include eastern tiger, pipevine and spicebush, swallowtails, eastern buckeye, pearl crescent, silver-spotted skimmer and eastern-tailed blue. Early risers can get a glimpse of the opportunistic raccoon or opossum as they embark on their search for the day's meal. However, late risers have a good chance of seeing these animals at dusk as well.

Directions

From J. Frank Wilson Park, return to the intersection of Church Street and East SR 57/US 58. Travel straight (west) on Church Street for 0.3 miles to Clay Street; turn right and go one block to Main Street. Follow Main Street 0.3 miles to Jones Street. Turn right on Jones Street and follow to Franklin Street. The site of the future Welcome Center is 0.1 miles on the right.

Loop Map