Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Site Contact: Douglas Graham;(540) 854-5503 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Site Access: Fee area, open 8:00am - dusk
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Site PGS08: Lake Anna State Park
Tucked away on the upper north shore of Lake Anna, this 2,300-acre state park serves as the crown jewel of the Central Piedmont. The park property juts out into the lake with Pigeon Run trickling down its eastern border. Pigeon Run was named for the passenger pigeons that once filled the sky by the millions. Although they have now gone, many other species have survived and thrived in the park. Here, majestic bald eagles cruise the banks and hunt along inaccessible reaches of the lake. Massive tom turkeys strut the woodland edges with their mighty beards dragging the ground. In the winter months waterfowl congregate offshore with flocks of ring-necked duck, redhead and greater and lesser scaups incessantly diving; all the while, the occasional flock of tundra swans floats past or a sleek common loon races them for their catch. On shore the woods ring in springtime with the hick-cough of summer tanagers and the strange growls of yellow-billed cuckoos. The open fields host indigo buntings and noisy flocks of chipping sparrows, joined by eastern kingbirds, eastern bluebirds and eastern phoebes perching on the area fence posts. During migration, flocks of warblers can be found cavorting with the titmice and chickadees. In the fall, their breeding colors are muted by molt and immaturity to dull olives and a confusing array of bars, streaks, stripes and spots; a perfect time to test your identification skills. Watch for black-throated green, chestnut-sided, bay-breasted, palm, prairie and pine warblers. Those willing to take the time to explore will surely be pleasantly surprised.
From Arritt Park return 0.4 miles along Wallers Road to Rt. 738/Paltrow Road. Turn right and go 1.3 miles to Rt. 622/Fairview Road. Turn right and go 2.7 miles to Rt. 601. Turn right on Rt. 601 and continue 6.7 miles west to SR 208/Courthouse Road. Turn right on SR 208/Courthouse Road and proceed north 0.2 miles to Rt. 601/Lawyers Road. Turn left and head northwest 3.2 miles to the entrance to Lake Anna State Park. To return to a major highway, return to Rt. 601/Lawyers Road and turn left. Follow this to Rt. 653. Lawyers Road will branch to the right, continue straight on Rt. 653/Jones Powell Road to Rt. 652/Belmont Road and turn right on Rt. 652. Follow Rt. 652/Belmont Road for approximately 0.5 miles and turn left onto Rt. 653/Orange Springs Road. Follow Rt. 653/Orange Springs Road to US 522 (Rt. 653 will turn to Rt. 629 but will continue as Orange Springs Road). US 522 will take you north to US 29 or south to I-64. You can also turn left from US 522 north at Unionville onto SR 20 and follow this to the beginning of the Monticello-Rivanna Loop.