Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail

Site Information

  • Site Contact: Mark Schuppin; (434) 933-8061
  • Site Access: Fee, open sunrise to sunset daily
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Site PJR02: James River State Park


James River State Park is one of Virginia's newest state parks, purchased in 1992 and dedicated in 1999. Often visitors refer to the beautiful 1500-acre wildlife park as "Virginia's best kept secret". Whether watching American rubyspots at Dixon Landing, or enjoying the view of the wetland impoundment's resident wading birds and waterfowl from the new wheelchair accessible viewing deck, there is something for birders of all interests and abilities. Take a stroll around Green Hill Pond on the 1/4-mile wheelchair accessible trail. Search the open woods for flocks of chipping sparrows or wintering dark-eyed juncos. From there, take one of the numerous trails down along the river through a series of extensive wetlands. Search the overgrown meadows for indigo buntings and check thickets carefully for common yellowthroats and house wrens. The wetland trail is a great area to find widow skimmer and common whitetail dragonflies, which are usually spotted as their black and white patterns shift back and forth across the path. As you wander the trails, be sure to check overhead for a migrating monarch or a majestic bald eagle, briefly joining the red-shoulder or red-tailed hawks and northern harriers overhead.


From Fortune's Cove return to US 29/SR 56 North. Continue to the US 29/SR 56 split and continue on SR 56 southeast, crossing the James River. After crossing the river continue to Rt. 604 and turn right. Follow Rt. 604 south to Rt. 606 and turn right. Follow Rt. 606 to James River State Park.

Loop Map