Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail

Site Information

  • Site Contact: Heather Susee (434) 447-7101
  • Site Access: Free, open daily sunrise to sunset
  • Visit Website


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Site PDR04A: Tobacco Heritage Trail: South Hill


This 2.6 mile rail trail has a lot to offer wildlife enthusiasts as well as history buffs. The trailhead is situated at Cotton Mill Park near the former cotton industry of South Boston, featuring two brick towers and the remains of an old cotton mill. Just a little ways down the trail at the spur, you will see a sight to peak your curiosity – an old sluice gate. The trail is mostly wooded with hardwoods and a few pines scattered throughout. The one side of the old railroad bed is upland forest and the other side is floodplain along the Dan River. Keep your eyes open for a variety of migrating warblers as well as resident vireos, thrushes, sparrows, and raptors; red-tailed, red-shouldered, cooper’s, sharp-shinned, osprey, and bald eagles have all been observed. The trail ends at the Dan River where you may see wood ducks or grebes dabbling along the shallow river. Along the shoulders of the trail from spring to early fall the trail has an abundance of wild flowers that can be seen along with various species of butterflies and dragonflies. In late winter you one can hear, and with a little luck, might see spring frogs calling. A variety of reptiles as well as a coyote and even a solitary black bear have been seen on the trail.


From Paul C. Edmunds, Jr. Memorial Park, return back to US 360 and go west. Follow US 360 west to US 58 and turn right (west) towards South Boston. Turn right onto Main St and continue 0.3 miles to Broad St; continue on Broad Street 1.0 mile and turn left on Edmunds St toward Colonial Ave 0.6 mi, Turn left on Railroad Ave toward Summit Dr. 0.3 miles.

Loop Map