The Wetlands to Pony Pasture Rapids, James River Park System

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.


The site offers a number of different trails including one from the parking lot straight towards the James River (east) that leads to a pond with three blinds overlooking the wetlands. The trail provides access to hardwood stands, brushy thickets, meadows, wetlands, and dense riparian thickets along the river. The pond on site is likely to attract American Bittern, Marsh Wren and Pied-billed Grebe. Closer to the river, in the upland forests, look for nesting birds, including several species of warblers. The adjacent meadows are used by a variety of wintering sparrows. The river provides views of waterfowl, bald eagle and osprey at most any time of the year.

Along the shoreline in late spring and summer, look for Brown Watersnakes and river cooters basking on the rocks. In early spring, listen for spring peepers and chorus frogs singing and during summer, listen for toads sing during warm rains.

Note: Riverside Drive near the Pony Pasture is closed to automobiles on rainy nights in late winter for the protection of mating Spotted Salamanders.

Contact Information:


Physical address: 3401 Landria Dr., Richmond VA 23225

From the 42nd Street entrance to the James River Park, exit the park and turn right. Proceed 0.6 miles and turn left at the stop sign on Evelyn-Byrd Road. Follow this road for 0.2 miles and turn left on SR 161/Westover Hills Boulevard. Continue 0.4 miles; turn right on Forest Hill Avenue. Turn right on Rhettig Road (1st turn after the Willow Oaks Country Club) and then left onto Winchester Drive (this road changes to Buckhill Drive after the sharp curve). Follow this road approximately 1.0 mile to Landria Drive. Turn right and park beside the entrance gate in the cul-de-sac.

Location & Directions

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Site Information

Birds Recently Seen at The Wetlands to Pony Pasture Rapids, James River Park System (as reported to eBird)

  • Gadwall
  • Mallard
  • Ring-necked Duck
  • Bufflehead
  • Hooded Merganser
  • Common Merganser
  • Pied-billed Grebe
  • Double-crested Cormorant
  • Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
  • Downy Woodpecker

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Bike Trails
  • Hiking Trails
  • Information
  • Parking
  • Kayak/Canoe Launch
  • Viewing Blinds
  • Beach