Paul State Forest

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.


Elevation: 1420 ft.

Paul State Forest serves as an island of forest in a sea of farmland. The trees host a variety of common woodland species. Area regulars include red-bellied, downy, and hairy woodpeckers, and the occasional pileated and red-headed woodpeckers drop in sporadically. Forest diversity is at its highest during migration when, depending on the weather, numerous species of warblers, vireos, tanagers and thrushes can be spotted. Fast flying tawny emperors and the less energetic red-spotted purples and eastern tiger swallowtails frequent the broad trails between the towering yellow poplars of the state forest. The surrounding fields attract a variety of raptors that perch along the edges of the forest. Keep a look out for Cooper’s, sharp-shinned and red-tailed hawks, as well as the occasional American kestrel. Have an eye and ear open during the spring and summer when tree frogs are likely to appear.

Walking and hiking within the forest is free, but certain other activities require a State Forest Use Permit. More information is available here via the Department of Forestry.


Physical Location: Clover Hill Rd., Dayton, VA 22821 (just north of Ottobine)

From the Previous Site on the North River Loop of the VBWT:

From Silver Lake, continue southeast on Rt. 701 for 0.6 miles to SR 42 in Dayton. Turn right and go south 0.5 miles to SR 257. Turn right and continue west 6.3 miles to Rt. 613. Turn right and proceed 0.2 miles to the state forest on the right.

Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: VA Dept. of Forestry: 540-459-3151, [email protected]
  • Website
  • Access: Free for walking/hiking, Permit required for other activities, Daily

Birds Recently Seen at Paul State Forest (as reported to eBird)

  • Red-bellied Woodpecker
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Hairy Woodpecker
  • Blue Jay
  • American Crow
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Golden-crowned Kinglet
  • White-breasted Nuthatch
  • Carolina Wren
  • Eastern Bluebird

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Environmental Study Area
  • Hiking Trails
  • Parking
  • Picnic