Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
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Site MTJ01: Ragged Mountain Natural Area
Elevation: 737 ft. Ragged Mountain Natural Area is a 980-acre preserve located around the Ragged Mountain Reservoir. This beautiful area just southwest of the City of Charlottesville has something for everyone. There are 7 miles of well-maintained trails and views of the surrounding valleys from the top of Round Top Mountain. With 3 major trails, this site offers nature enthusiasts numerous opportunities for viewing wildlife. During winter months the reservoirs are full of waterfowl including Canada geese, mallard, and ruddy duck. The higher elevation trails will bring visitors views of all the native woodpeckers, yellow-bellied sapsuckers in the winter, and northern flickers. In the spring, look for a variety of songbirds migrating through, such as blue-winged and Tennessee warblers. Fall brings migrant blackpoll and bay-breasted warblers as well as hermit thrush. Nesting neotropical songbirds include pine, yellow-throated, and yellow warblers, northern parula, yellow-breasted chat, chipping and field sparrows, and red-eyed and yellow-throated vireos. Upland chorus and northern cricket frogs take residence here, as does American toad and spring peeper. In addition to these amphibians, several species of bats are known to inhabit these woodlands including eastern pipistrelle, evening bat, and big brown bat. White-tailed deer are abundant, and occasionally, black bear and bobcat may be seen.
From I-64 in Charlottesville, take Exit #118B/US 29 North. After 0.4 miles, take the first exit for US 29 Business. At the end of the ramp, turn left onto Fontaine Avenue. Go 0.3 miles on Fontaine Avenue to Reservoir Road and turn right. Follow Reservoir Road for 1.7 miles to the sign on the right just before Camp Holiday Trails.