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Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail

Site Information

  • Site Contact: (434) 525-7522 jim.bowman@dgif.virginia.gov
  • Site Access: Daily. Hunting license, freshwater fishing license, boat registration, or access permit required.
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Facilities

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Site PCT02: Dick Cross Wildlife Management Area

Description

This 1400-acre wildlife management area is an excellent place to view waterfowl in the wintertime. Large numbers of ducks and geese congregate in the wetlands along the Roanoke River and Allen Creek. Bufflehead, American coot, ruddy duck, and several other species are usually found in open areas. Make sure to look along the shoreline and in wetland areas to catch a glimpse of more secretive shorebirds such as Virginia rail and common snipe. In February and March, over more open, moist fields, you may be surprised by the intricate courtship displays of the male woodcock, peenting away and flying in complex patterns to impress his mate. A number of bald eagles commonly spend winter months in the vicinity, so visitors may have an opportunity to observe these majestic birds. During the warmer months, beaver are quite active in and around the wetland areas. Look for the telltale conical cut trees to see where they have done their latest construction. Spring and early summer may be time to see a young bear wandering to find his own territory. The rivers through central Virginia often create travel corridors for many large mammals to cross the Commonwealth. With the many wetlands in this area, there is ample opportunity to see several species of dragon- and damselflies guarding their territories.

Directions

Leaving Carter Lane Trail return toUS 58 and turn right (east) and continue 5.2 miles to SR 4/Buggs Island Road. Turn right (south) and go 4.5 miles to Tailrace Park on the left. At Castle Heights turn left into the main entrance to Dick Cross WMA and follow the road approximately 2.0 miles to a gate at the marsh.

Loop Map