Staunton River Battlefield State 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

In the summer of 1864, the bridge across the Staunton River looked much the same as it does today, although it had a roof. In these fields, an outnumbered band of old men and young boys from Southside Virginia were able to repel a force of Union soldiers more than 5,000 strong. This momentous victory protected General Robert E. Lee’s main supply line for his defense of Petersburg. Almost 150 years later, the earthen fort still stands, as does the bridge. The sounds of muskets and artillery have long since been silenced by the sounds of indigo buntings, summer tanagers and northern bobwhites. Visitors can now walk out onto this famous bridge and look down into the clear waters of the Staunton River and see eastern river cooters floating far below, or solitary sandpipers resting on a sandbar to save up energy for their long migration south.

Along with the significant historical features inherent to the park, it also offers a beautiful trail through the woods and fields along the Staunton River. This trail includes two observation platforms overlooking the seasonally flooded depressions next to the river. Here, wood ducks can be seen rearing their young, and great horned owls hoot from deep within the woods. As you crisscross through the woods, listen for white-eyed vireos scolding you from deep within the bushes and check the numerous brush piles for brown thrashers or perhaps a yellow-breasted chat.

After checking out the impressive interpretive center for information on the battle and the area’s natural history, be sure to visit the impressive butterfly garden along the path to the fort. This area is filled with iridescent wings of American snouts, great spangled fritillaries, red-spotted purples and common buckeyes.

Directions

From MacCallum More Museum and Gardens, go south on Hudgins Street for 0.1 miles to SR 47/E. 2nd Street. Turn right and go west 0.1 miles to SR 49/E. 2nd Street. Continue west on SR 49 for 0.7 miles to SR 92/W. 2nd Street. Bear right, heading west 15.2 miles to Rt. 600/Black Walnut Road. Turn right (west) for 2.8 miles to Staunton River Battlefield State Park.

Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: (434) 454-4312
  • Website
  • Access: Free, open 8am v sunset daily- Park hours

Birds Recently Seen at Staunton River Battlefield State Park (as reported to eBird)

  • Wood Duck
  • Gadwall
  • American Wigeon
  • Mallard
  • American Black Duck
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

Seasonal Bird Observations

Facilities

  • Bike Trails
  • Environmental Study Area
  • Accessible
  • Hiking Trails
  • Information
  • Interpretive Nature Program
  • Interpretive Trail
  • Lookout Tower
  • Parking
  • Phone
  • Picnic
  • Restrooms