Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail
- Site Contact: (804) 739-4689 email@example.com
- Site Access: Free, open daily, the boat launch only is available for launching a boat to view wildlife from the river
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Site PSR08: Clarkton Bridge Boat Landing
For over one hundred years the Clarkton Bridge has spanned the Staunton River between Charlotte and Halifax counties. These iron beams were originally sent down from the Virginia Bridge and Iron Company in Roanoke and assembled on site into a bridge design known as a camelback truss. Since that time, the bridge has weathered numerous floods and stood its ground, gradually welcoming smaller and smaller loads on its support. Eventually, the bridge was closed to vehicular traffic, and for a time condemned for demolition. Concerned citizens from Charlotte and Halifax counties made a stand and the bridge was given a reprieve. Now residents hope to develop the area for outside recreation and wildlife watching. Along the banks of the Staunton River, visitors should search for eastern river cooters sunning themselves on exposed rocks near the bank. Keep an eye overhead for ospreys cruising downstream. In summer, green herons can be seen hunting tiny fish along the riverbanks, while stately great blue herons appear from time to time. The tall trees along the river bank support red-eyed and yellow-throated vireos. Red-bellied, and occasionally pileated woodpeckers, call from deeper in the woods, allowing themselves to be seen as they cross the open water. The sun-dappled banks of the river host clouds of butterflies in late summer, with dozens of similar question marks and commas perching side-by-side for easy comparison. Watch your footing as red-spotted purples and black swallowtails sip from mineral rich puddles and dozens of eastern-tailed blues scatter at every step.
From Lake Conner return north on Rt. 624 1.4 miles, cross over Rt. 623 and continue 5.4 miles to Rt. 625. Turn right on Rt. 625 and go 1.4 miles to Rt. 626. Turn right on Rt. 626 and go 1.8 miles to Clarkton Bridge Road on the right. Turn right and proceed 0.1 miles to the bridge access area on the south side of the river. To get to the north side of the river and the boat landing continue west on Rt. 626 for 5.0 miles to US 501. Turn right and head north on US 501 for 5.9 miles to the intersection with SR 40 east. Turn right and go east 0.9 miles to Rt. 600/Dog Creek Road. Turn right and follow Rt. 600 for 2.2 miles where it becomes Rt. 619. Continue on Rt. 619 for 3.6 miles to Rt. 620/Clarkton Bridge Road. Turn right and follow it for 2.7 miles to the river and boat landing.