Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail

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  • Site Contact: Dan Mahon; (434) 296-5844,
  • Site Access: Free, open daily sunrise to sunset
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Site PMR05: Darden Towe Memorial Park


Darden Towe Memorial Park lies in northern Charlottesville along the east bank of the Rivanna River. Open playing fields, as well as a small pond, several thick brushy areas, and a riverside trail, dominate the park. The open areas are a great place to search for killdeers and the occasional chipping sparrows foraging in the short grass. At certain times of year large flocks of ‘blackbirds', including common grackle, red-winged blackbird and the introduced European starling, descend on the park to forage, and roost on the telephone wires and fence lines. While walking along the river, listen for red-bellied and downy woodpeckers overhead and watch the river for migratory waterfowl or the resident Canada geese. During migration there is also potential for a variety of neotropical migrants to appear. Later in the fall, yellow-rumped warblers appear and are sometimes joined by ruby-crowned and golden-crowned kinglets, as well as white-throated sparrows. The summer months bring the flowerbeds alive with butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies.


From Melbourne Road, return to US 250/US 250 Bypass and turn left heading east. Follow US 250 for 0.9 miles to SR 20. Turn left onto SR 20 (northeast) and go 0.4 miles to Darden Towe Memorial Park on the left.

Loop Map