Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Site Contact: James Edmunds II; (434) 572-4002; firstname.lastname@example.org
- Site Access: Fee, open sunrise to sunset; please call ahead for permission
- Visit Website
Site PDR05: Elm Hill Trails
For close to 200 years the Edmunds family owned or farmed on Elm Hill. From the impressive brick mansion follow walking trails as they snake their way through the woods leading to quiet creeks and swampy beaver ponds to stately oaks and acres of pine woods. These acres host wildlife in abundance, and a number of open walking trails make observation quite easy. The woods host flocks of active passerines, ranging from the abundant Carolina chickadee and tufted titmouse to the solitary eastern wood-pewee and the inquisitive red-eyed vireo. During migration, small bands of warblers join these flocks, adding flashes of yellow to the grays and greens of the residents. Keep an eye out for pine warblers, as well as magnolia and black-and-white warblers. Over 55 acres of land on Elm Hill is in the form of ponds stocked with fish. This intensely managed farm hosts a variety of waterfowl and other game species throughout the year. The many man-made and beaver created ponds and wetlands provide a wide array of habitat that even bald eagles enjoy on occasion. At the bottom of the hill lays an expansive pond frequented by great blue herons, wood ducks and basking eastern painted turtles. Also check the nearby leaf litter for eastern box turtles. The pond buzzes with numerous easily-found dragonflies such as eastern amberwing, eastern pondhawk, slaty skimmer and common whitetail, as well as great blue skimmers which require a little more effort. On the butterfly front, red-spotted purples and hackberry emperors abound, while pearl crescents, as well as smaller, eastern tailed-blues and a few azures require more careful searching.
From Edmunds Park, continue northwest on Rt. 716/Dan River Church Road for 2.6 miles to SR 129/N. Main Street. Turn right (west) for 0.6 miles on SR 129/N. Main Street, then go right (north) on US 501/Halifax Road for 0.4 miles. Turn left (west) on Greens Folly Road and follow it for 0.6 miles. At the traffic light go straight (west) onto Rt. 659/River Road and follow it southwest for 1.3 miles where Rt. 659 turns right, stay on Rt. 659 and continue 9.8 miles to Elm Hill Trails on the right.