New Market Battlefield State Historical Park
Elevation: 977 ft.
The Park showcases the Battle of New Market (May 15, 1864), one of the last Confederate victories in the Shenandoah Valley, made famous by the participation of the Virginia Military Institute Keydets. Within the Park’s 300 acres are the core battlefield area, the historic Bushong Farm and the Hall of Valor Civil War Museum. Wildlife viewing abounds among the large open grassy fields flanked by regenerating hardwoods; the bluff overlooking the North Fork of the Shenandoah River provides an astounding view. Numerous trails crisscross the battlefield, including several that follow along the top of the bluff and through the woods. Look for birds, such as eastern kingbird, eastern bluebird, field and chipping sparrows in the open fields. From the top of the bluff, scan the river for water birds such as great blue and green herons, wood duck and belted kingfisher. The woods host species characteristic of this habitat: blue jay, northern cardinal, Carolina chickadee, tufted titmouse, and Carolina wren. Butterflies are also numerous around the battlefield with pearl crescent, red-spotted purple, and black and eastern tiger swallowtails being numerous. Dragonflies are less obvious but do include black-shouldered spinylegs, widow skimmer, and common whitetail.
From I-81, take Exit #264 and follow US 211 west for 0.1 miles under the interstate to SR 305. Turn right onto SR 305 and proceed 1.0 mile to parking area.