|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.|
For those with an adventurous spirit, the Staunton River is best seen from mid-stream, and with several boat landings scattered up and down the river, there are plenty of opportunities to do just that. Take a day or two, hop in a canoe and float downstream. As you float along with the current, keep one eye on the banks for great blue herons, wood ducks or the occasional belted kingfisher. Check the numerous downed trees for eastern painted turtles and eastern river cooters basking in the sun.
Keep a careful eye on the surface for the numerous dragonflies zipping back and forth. Here, prince baskettails and a variety of clubtails and cruisers join slaty skimmers and eastern pondhawks. At times, the handsome American rubyspot damselfly can also be found. If you tire of all the action along the banks, check the sky for ospreys and occasionally, bald eagles, as they cruise down the river in search of a big bass lunch.
From Staunton River Battlefield State Park, return west on Rt. 855/Fort Hill Trail to Rt. 600/Black Walnut Road. Turn right and go north 2.7 miles to Rt. 746/Mt. Laurel Road. Go right (north) and follow Rt. 746/Mt. Laurel Road. for 1.2 miles to the Watkins Bridge Boat Landing along the Scenic Portion of the Staunton River. Follow the Staunton River to the take out at the US 360 Bridge which is 6.4 miles southwest of the intersection of US 360 and US 15 in Wylliesburg.