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Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail

Site Information

  • Site Contact: Chief Ranger; (434) 572-4623
  • Site Access: Fee/camping/sunrise-10pm
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Facilities

Bike Trails Camping Fee Food Hiking Trails Information Interpretive/Nature Programs Interpretive Trail Lodge Parking Picnic Restrooms

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Site PDR02: Staunton River State Park

Description

Staunton River State Park sits at the convergence of two of Virginia's great rivers. From the north, the Roanoke River, known in these parts as the Staunton, flows almost due south while the Dan River flows in from the west. They converge into Buggs Island/Kerr Lake, providing an excellent vantage point for exploration. Because of its position, the park gains access to the woodlands and fields indicative of the area along with the riparian forests and seasonally flooded riverine habitat along the Staunton River. Plus, the park has access to the great expanse of open water provided by the reservoir. This combination of habitats makes for a wildlife watcher's paradise. Explore the water's edge for Canada geese, wood duck, great egrets and great blue herons year-round. In the winter, check the deep waters for loons and mergansers and the numerous ring-billed gulls for rarer species of gull. Once away from the water and into the woods, look amongst the pines for brown-headed nuthatches and wheezy pine warblers. The hardwoods hold red-eyed and white-eyed vireos in summer and, of course, downy and red-bellied woodpeckers are found drumming away almost anywhere. Watch along the roadsides in more open areas for small flocks of chipping sparrows and eastern bluebirds. Other creatures to be on the look out for include eastern painted turtles sunning themselves in quiet coves and swarms of red-spotted purple, hackberry emperor and question mark butterflies sipping mineral-rich sand at every mud puddle.

Directions

From Banister Lake, go southeast on US 501/L.P. Bailey Memorial Highway for 0.4 miles. Turn left (northeast) on SR 360/Bethel Road for 6.3 miles. Go straight (east) on SR 344/Scottsburg Road/MacDonald Road for 10.2 miles into Staunton River State Park.

Loop Map