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The western end of Pleasant Grove Park’s Fluvanna Heritage Trail begins just behind the historical Pleasant Grove House. Set further back from the Rivanna River than the eastern end, this trail leads visitors through open fields composed of recent agricultural land and regenerating thickets surrounding old home sites. Birders may wish to explore an additional 0.65-mile birding trail that loops off of the Fluvanna Heritage Trail, just a short walk from the Fluvanna Heritage Trail’s trailhead.
Scan the open fields for migrant swallows, which sometimes congregate in large mixed flocks, with tree swallows and barn swallows forming the majority; however, northern rough-winged, cliff and bank swallows are also possible. These open fields can also host large flocks of rowdy killdeers especially in late summer and early fall.
Continuing on the Fluvanna Heritage Trail leading to the river, check the brushy re-growth lining the trail for northern cardinals, and Carolina wrens and for winter visitors, such as eastern towhee, American goldfinch, dark-eyed junco and white-throated sparrow. Spring and fall migration can be especially exciting with common yellowthroats and Lincoln’s sparrows skulking in the undergrowth, and magnolia warblers flitting overhead. Careful inspection could turn up a surprise such as, a rare warbler or perhaps even a Philadelphia vireo. This trail connects via the River Bluff trail to the eastern entrance.
While exploring the western end of Pleasant Grove Park, wildlife viewers may wish to also visit the pollinator garden, which is located across from the entrance to the museum parking lot, next to the Community Garden. This pollinator garden was created with assistance from the Fluvanna Master Gardeners and the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources.
A map of the trails at Pleasant Grove Park may be found on the Fluvanna County Parks and Recreation website.
Physical Address: 271 Pleasant Grove Drive, Palmyra, VA 22963
From Charlottesville, take VA-20/ Monticello Ave south towards VA-53 E/ Thomas Jefferson Pkwy. Turn left onto VA-53 E/ Thomas Jefferson Pkwy. Travel 14.2 miles. At the traffic circle, continue straight onto VA-53 E and go another 2.3 miles. Turn left onto Pleasant Grove Dr., entering Pleasant Grove Park.
From Palmyra, head west on State Rte 601 toward US-15 S. Turn left onto US-15 S and continue 0.4 miles. Turn right onto VA-53 and travel 1.8 miles. Turn right onto Pleasant Grove Dr., entering Pleasant Grove Park.
Location & DirectionsView on Google Maps
- Site Contact: Fluvanna County Parks and Recreation: 434-589-2016, [email protected]
- Access: Free, open daily
Birds Recently Seen at Fluvanna Heritage Trail – West, Pleasant Grove Park (as reported to eBird)
- Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
- Red-bellied Woodpecker
- Downy Woodpecker
- Hairy Woodpecker
- Northern Flicker
- Blue Jay
- American Crow
- Carolina Chickadee
- Tufted Titmouse
- Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Seasonal Bird Observations
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