Glen Alton

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

Elevation: 2563 ft.

Glen Alton is a 304-acre estate that offers diverse habitats. Walk along trails that meander through wetlands, riparian woodlands, hardwood forests, open meadows, pond habitats, and coniferous stands. This site is unique in that birds typical of higher elevations can be found among these lower elevation woods. The average elevation of this site is around 2400 feet, but black-throated blue warbler, veery, scarlet tanager and even Blackburnian warbler have been found within the confines of this site during breeding season.

Beginning at the entrance gate, the main trail passes through the farm property with its majestic trees, old fields, outbuildings and ponds, continues through the hardwood forest and ends at a loop through the wetlands. . Northern parula, red-eyed vireo, and pileated woodpecker call from the woodlands. Green heron and belted kingfisher survey ponds as the numerous barn swallows circle above. Wood duck breed in these woodland ponds, and in fall and winter, are joined by bufflehead and great blue heron. Common yellowthroat can be heard in weedy marsh edges. Open meadows dance with blooming wildflowers in the spring and summer, attracting color butterflies such as harvester, eastern tiger swallowtail, spring/summer and Appalachian azures, American snout, red admiral, and even Diana fritillary. Appalachian brown and common wood-nymph skirt the woodland edges. Bright dragonflies such as slaty and widow skimmers, common green darner, and calico pennant patrol ponds. Tall grasses and logs that line pond banks serve as perches for damselflies such as blue-fronted dancer, Rambur’s forktail, familiar bluet, and the dazzling elegant spreadwings. Mammalian denizens of this area include beaver, woodchuck, red fox, coyote, and red bat. Though this area has recently been acquired, it has quickly become an interest to local birders and nature enthusiasts.

Directions

From Pembroke, VA, continue on US 460 West toward Pearisburg for approximately 2 miles. Take right onto Route 635 and travel 13.3 miles. Turn left onto SR 722 / Glen Alton Road. Proceed 0.1 mile, crossing the bridge. Turn right and travel an additional 0.4 miles to the parking lot.

Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: (540) 953-3563, jovercash@fs.fed.us
  • Website
  • Access: Free, Daily

Birds Recently Seen at Glen Alton (as reported to eBird)

  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Pileated Woodpecker
  • Blue Jay
  • American Crow
  • Carolina Chickadee
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • White-breasted Nuthatch

Seasonal Bird Observations

Facilities

  • Hiking Trails
  • Parking
  • Picnic
  • Restrooms