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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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Site PHP10: Briery Creek Wildlife Management Area

Description

The area's gently rolling hills are typical of the topography of the south-central Piedmont. The nucleus of the area is Briery Creek Lake, formed by damming Briery Creek and Little Briery Creek. A nature trail begins at the parking area on Route 790 at the dam and winds along the lakeshore. Due to the large expanses of open water, there are some unusual bird-watching opportunities available at Briery Creek. Ospreys, an occasional bald eagle, and a variety of waterfowl species can be seen on or near the lake seasonally. Tundra swans make an appearance on a regular basis at this lake, so watch them from a distance as they can be much meaner than they appear. For those looking for a little more excitement, black bear sightings have been increasing in this area over the past few years. Spring and early summer will be the times to keep your eyes and ears open for them. In addition, river otter and beaver are both active along Briery and Little Briery Creeks. River otters are a particular treat as they were once almost entirely extirpated from Virginia and have been increasing steadily since the early 1970's. As with any large impoundment, damsel- and dragonflies are common in and around the water. Watch for eastern pondhawks hunting for prey and the larger great blue skimmer. More open areas will also attract great numbers of butterflies. During migration monarchs are common here. Also watch for eastern tiger swallowtails, red-spotted purples and great spangled fritillaries.

Directions

From Prince Edward - Gallion State Forest continue on Rt. 629/Flippen Road (west) to its intersection with Rt. 632. Turn right on Rt. 632 and continue for 2.1 miles to Rt. 630. Turn right on Rt. 630 and follow it northwest for 4.5 miles to US 15. Turn left onto US 15 South and follow it for about 1.0 miles to Rt. 701 and the main entrance to Briery Creek WMA. To return to a major highway, return to US 15 and follow this south to the Staunton River Loop.

Loop Map