Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Site Contact: (434) 361-2251, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Site Access: Open Wed.-Sat. 10am-6pm, Sunday, 12pm – 5pm year-round
Site MTJ05A: Spruce Creek Park
Elevation: 734 ft. Spruce Creek Park is the first site in what will eventually be an approximately five mile loop around the Wintergreen area. Historically the site of the old mill that now resides at the Wintergreen Resort, this small hamlet is now home to a nature trail, a nursery and a local artisans gallery. Begin your trip behind the gallery by crossing the small wooden bridge and follow the trail out past the picnic tables. Here you may see a multitude of swallowtail butterflies and monarchs continuing their ageless migration north and south. Along the creek, watch and listen for Acadian flycatchers singing their ‘Piz –ZA' along with indigo buntings, and at certain times of the year, white-eyed vireo. As you move out along the trail to the woods, listen for eastern wood-peewee, red and white-breasted nuthatches, and a host of woodpeckers. During winter months, yellow-bellied sapsuckers may be numerous here. Along sections of the South Fork of the Rockfish River, watch for herons fishing the cool mountain waters. Don't be surprised if you see an eagle or osprey also flying by overhead during the late summer and early fall. If you are here in the early morning or about dusk keep your eyes open for deer, black bear or an elusive bobcat passing through. All three have been seen on a regular basis in the area. During the spring months, listen in the wetter areas of the forest for the sounds of gray treefrogs, American toads, spring peepers and a host of other resident amphibians. As the trail is extended into the more open grassy areas, watch for northern harrier and loggerhead shrike hunting the fields. Eastern bluebird, eastern meadowlark and a variety of other grassland birds also occur here.
From the Wintergreen Nature Foundation's Trillium House return to Rt. 664 and turn left. Follow Rt. 664 for approximately 4.0 miles to SR 151. Turn left on SR 151 and continue for 1.5 miles to the Spruce Creek Gallery parking lot on the right, just after crossing Spruce Creek. Additional parking is available just down Rt. 627 on the left just before you reach the gallery.