MTJ08: Sherando Lake
Elevation: 1810 ft.
Sherando Lake is a recreational area with an extensive 25-acre spring-fed lake that also offers camping, fishing, boating, picnicking and hiking opportunities. This site also houses an amphitheatre and a visitor’s center. Trails meander through hardwood forests, lakeside habitat, open fields, and mountain ridgelines. These woodlands are nesting grounds for scarlet tanager, Canada and black-throated green warblers, and yellow-breasted chat. In the fall and winter, the lake attracts shorebirds and waterfowl. While wood duck, belted kingfisher, and green heron are resident here, look for bufflehead and American black duck in the winter. This is also a good spot to find the colorful (and fast!) Blue Ridge two-lined salamander. Other salamanders such as northern dusky salamander may also be hiding beneath rocks along the creeks. This is an extensive area, with several trails that traverse a wide variety of habitat. It is a popular spot for beach recreation, but there are numerous opportunities for wildlife watching as well.
From Royal Oaks, travel north on Rt. 814 for 3.6 miles to Rt. 664. Continue straight onto Rt. 664 and follow for 0.6 miles to the entrance on the left. Turn left into the entrance and continue for 1.9 miles to parking next to the lake.
To return to the interstate, return to the Blue Ridge Parkway and follow it South to SR 56. Turn right and follow this to I-81. From here, turn north to begin the Forest Trails Loop or South and start the Rockbridge River and Ridge Loop.