Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail

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  • Site Contact: (434) 296-4731
  • Site Access: Daily. Hunting license, freshwater fishing license, boat registration, or access permit required.
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Site MTJ03: Lake Albemarle


Elevation: 548 ft. Lake Albemarle is a moderate-sized lake that is probably most popular among local anglers. Hardwood forests with scattered pines surround much of the lake, with some marshy edges that attract a great deal of wildlife. This site's most spectacular birding occurs in the fall and winter for migratory shorebirds and waterfowl. In the winter, look for bufflehead and hooded merganser. During migration, you may also find an osprey or even a bald eagle. In the summer, resident wood duck hide in coves, while green heron and belted kingfisher hunt from water's edge. River otter are likely to take residence in these waters, as well. Dragonflies such as slaty and widow skimmers, common green darner, prince baskettail, and eastern amberwings patrol the lake. Blue-ringed and powdered dancers as well as other damselflies lurk in the weedy grasses along the banks.


From Ivy Creek Natural Area, return to US 29 and go south (right) 0.3 miles to Rt. 654/Barracks Road. Turn right onto Rt. 654/Barracks Road, and continue west for 1.9 miles, where the road name changes to Rt.601 (and later Rt. 614)/Garth Road. Continue on Garth Road for 7.4 miles to Rt. 675/Lake Albemarle. Turn left onto Rt. 675/Lake Albemarle for 2.0 miles to the end of the road at the lake. Turn right for 0.2 miles to the boat launch ramp on the left.

Loop Map