Appomattox-Buckingham State Forest is scattered along the southern edge of SR 24 and completely engulfs Holliday Lake State Park. By following the numerous roads branching from the main entrance, you can explore various sections of the forest by car or foot. The varying stages of forest regrowth, from the tiny seedlings to stout mature trees, correlate with the variety of wildlife the forest attracts. Listen for the sharp cries and insistent taps of a variety of woodpeckers including the vocal red-bellied, the often confused similar downy and hairy, and the massive pileated. In winter, these residents are joined by yellow-bellied sapsuckers, which descend from their nesting grounds in the spruce of the high Appalachians.
Small mammals are kept on their toes by the numerous predators like nesting red-shouldered and red-tailed hawks, which can be seen soaring overhead with the common turkey vulture and occasional common raven. The large expanse of under- explored woodlands could turn up any number of surprising finds, especially during spring and fall migration when numerous warblers, vireos, thrushes and tanagers might appear briefly to refuel for their long journey.
Dozens of butterflies, such as red-spotted purples, black swallowtails and a confusing array of skippers also make the forest their home. These are joined by large predatory dragonflies like the common green darners that cruise the skies terrorizing tiny insects and by common whitetails which seem to spend much of their time lounging around in the sun.
From Holliday Lake State Park return to the intersection of Rt. 692 and Rt. 640. Turn right on Rt. 640 and continue for approximately 2.0 miles to Rt. 636. Turn left on Rt. 636 to the main entrance on the right. Numerous side roads branch off Rt. 636, Rt. 640 and Rt. 626 leading into the forest.