Smart View Recreational Area, Blue Ridge Parkway
Elevation: 2503 ft.
Smart View Recreational Area offers several hiking trails and picnic areas. Located along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Smart View also offers excellent views of the Virginia Piedmont. Various trails meander through moist deciduous woodlands, hardwood forests, and open fields. This site is great place to bird during spring migration, but summer also is productive with breeders such as hooded, Kentucky, and black-and white warblers, Acadian and great-crested flycatchers, blue-gray gnatcatcher, yellow-throated and red-eyed vireos, chipping sparrow, brown thrasher, and scarlet tanager. The big lure for most birders to this site is the breeding population of cerulean warbler. Moist forest floors lend themselves to other critters, as well. Look for red eft, the bright orange terrestrial form of the red-spotted newt, as well as eastern box turtle, and several species of colorful millipedes. Eastern chipmunk, red squirrel, red fox, and white-tailed deer are common throughout. Also watch for wild turkey roaming through these woods.
From the intersection of US 220 and the Blue Ridge Parkway south of Roanoke, go southwest on the Blue Ridge Parkway for 33.0 miles to the Smart View Recreation Area on the left.