Fredericksburg Battlefield, Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park

Important Notices

COVID-19 & the VBWTBefore heading out to visit a site on the Virginia Bird & Wildlife Trail, be sure to check if that site has any COVID-19 policies or closures in place. This information is typically posted on a site's own website.

Description

Fredericksburg Battlefield hosts an excellent visitor’s center and a series of trails that lead through the city and surrounding hills. The trails take visitors through the events of the battle and provide an opportunity to watch wildlife in the area. In addition to their strong historical significance, the fields of the battlefield and joining National Cemetery host open country birds such as eastern bluebirds and northern mockingbirds. In addition to the trails at the visitor’s center, there are several trails a short drive away that are accessed from Lee Drive. These trails traverse mature oak hickory forests, successional pine woodlands, wooded wetlands, bridged stream crossings, and several open grassland areas.

Birders have spotted at least 101 species of birds on these trails, including yellow-billed cuckoos and red-shouldered hawks high in the trees; yellow-bellied sapsuckers and other woodpeckers on stumps and snags; several flycatchers and vireos in the mixed hardwood areas; Eastern bluebirds, cedar waxwings and chipping sparrows in the edge habitats; wood thrushes caroling from deep in the forest; and ovenbirds and a dozen other warblers nesting or migrating through the area. Many mammals, reptiles and amphibians call this park home. These include white-tailed deer, red fox, raccoon, and even – if you are lucky – you may spot a southern flying squired. Multiple species of frogs and toads can be heard calling from the wet areas in season, and bright red newts are sometimes encountered walking through the moist forest. You can sometimes sneak up on a skink or a fence lizard sunning itself on a stump or fence rail, and occasionally you will notice a box turtle quietly making its slow way along.

Spring wildflowers of many species including spring beauty, wild azalea, bellwort, violet, mayapple, and bloodroot can also be observed along these trails. By summer and fall many more wildflowers such as cardinal flower, New York ironweed, swamp milkweed, wild asters, goldenrod, and jewelweed are in bloom, especially in edge habitats and along waterways.  Cap-and-stem mushrooms abound during the warm months, including many brightly-colored species. In addition, a wide diversity of fungi fruit seasonally in the woods and wild spots. Some of these resemble sea corals, small elfin cups, saddle-caps, trumpets, brackets, puffballs, gelatinous blobs, and even tiny birds nests (with tinier “eggs”).

Directions

Physical Address (Visitor Center): 1013 Lafayette Blvd., Fredericksburg VA

From the Visitor Center, go south on Lafayette Blvd. 0.4 miles to the roundabout. Leave the roundabout at the third turn to join Lee Drive heading south. Continue to the desired trail head. There are five parking areas along Lee Drive giving access to the trails.

Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: Sara Strickland; 540-693-3200; frsp_info@nps.gov
  • Website
  • Access: Fee area, open daily

Seasonal Bird Observations

Facilities

  • Fee
  • Accessible
  • Hiking Trails
  • Information
  • Interpretive Trail
  • Parking
  • Phone
  • Picnic
  • Restrooms
  • Scenic Drive/Driving Tour
  • Historical Site