Williamsburg area local birding hotspots

Local Birding Hotspots

Greensprings Nature Trail

A 4.7-mile soft surface hiking trail which consists of three interconnecting loops through rural land. The trail has a boardwalk over a beaver pond, is located 1/2 mile from Jamestown Island, and adjacent to Mainland Farm, the oldest continually operated farm in America. The trail is being developed through a coordinated effort utilizing volunteers from the community, various state and national grants, and local resources. Green Springs Trail is located on John Tyler Highway behind Jamestown High School. Look for nesting osprey, warblers, woodpeckers, swallows, and more.

Directions: If approaching from Newport News, follow Interstate 64 W to Exit 242A. If approaching from Richmond, follow Interstate 64E to Exit 234. Both of these exits access Route 199. Follow Route 199 to Route 5 (John Tyler Highway). Turn left and follow Route 5 to Jamestown High School at the intersection of Legacy Drive. The trailhead begins behind Jamestown High School at the tennis courts.

Colonial Parkway

A 20 mile road that runs from Jamestown to Yorktown, mostly along the James and York rivers, with many parking pull-offs; expect almost anything in the varied habitats.

Jamestown Island

A 3-mile and 5-mile, one way loop road through viney woods and marshes, with parking pull-offs; excellent for woodland species and waterfowl.

Directions: When traveling east or west on I-64 take exit 242A (Route 199 West). At the second stoplight, S. Henry Street, turn right. Make another immediate second right, about 50 feet from the first right. This will take you to the Colonial Parkway. Turn right onto the Parkway and follow it to its end and the Jamestown Entrance Station.

Hog Island

A wildlife management area on the shore of the James River, just south of Williamsburg, in Surry County. Most easily reached by the Jamestown Ferry, with observation platforms and walking trails; great for shorebirds and waterfowl.

Access to the area is through the Surry Nuclear Power Station from state Route 10, between the towns of Surry and Smithfield, north via Routes 650 or 617.

York River State Park

York River State Park offers visitors an opportunity to experience the environment of a coastal estuary. This park is known for its rare and delicate environment, where freshwater and saltwater meet to create a habitat rich in marine and plant life. The main focus of the park is to preserve a portion of York River frontage and its related marshes while providing an area for passive day-use recreation for visitors. York River State Park served as a role model for all of Virginia’s state parks in developing resource management plans. Expect just about any kind of birds except shore birds.

Directions: The entrance is off Route 606. From I-64, take the Croaker Exit 231B. Go north on Route 607 (Croaker Rd.) for one mile, then right on Route 606 (Riverview Rd.) about one and a half miles to the park entrance. Take a left turn into the park.

New Quarter Park

A 545 acre preserve that includes mature woodlands and open meadows, habitat that supports a diverse population of plants and animals. The park sits on a bluff of fossil shells and is surrounded by tidal creeks and marshes. Located at the end of Lakeshead Drive near the Queens Lake neighborhood.

Download a brochure of birds to look for at New Quarter Park (.pdf)

From East: Take I-64 West. Take exit 242A (Route 199 West/Jamestown Exit.) Take the Route 143 exit off of Route 199 (the first exit) , turn right onto Route 143 and follow it until you come to the first stoplight, which is the Penniman Road intersection. Turn right onto Penniman Road (Magruder Elementary School is on the left) and take the first left turn onto Hubbard Lane. Stay on Hubbard Land for about a mile an until you go under an overpass just past Cobble Creek subdivision. After the overpass, make an immediate right turn onto Lakeshead Drive. Follow this road until you reach the park.

From West: From West: Take I-64 East. Take EXIT 238 toward US-60/ CAMP PEARY / COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG. (0.1 miles). Merge onto VA-143 E toward WILLIAMSBURG / JAMESTOWN / YORKTOWN. (1.1 miles). Stay STRAIGHT to go onto CAPITOL LANDING RD / VA-5 S. (0.3 miles) Turn LEFT onto PARKWAY DR / VA-163. (0.4 miles) Take the ramp on right toward YORKTOWN (0.1 miles). Turn RIGHT onto COLONIAL PKWY / COLONIAL NATIONAL HISTORICAL PKWY. (0.8 miles). Take the ramp toward QUEENS LAKE. (0.1 miles). Turn RIGHT onto HUBBARD LN / W QUEENS DR. (0.1 miles). Take first RIGHT onto LAKESHEAD DR. and follow this road until you reach the park.

Jolly Pond

Located on Route 633 off Centerville Road. Only 2 small pull-offs, but a great location for waterfowl and for swampy forest dwellers such as warblers and flycatchers.

College Woods

On the campus of the College of William and Mary, adjacent to Lake Matoaka; enter from Compton Drive off Monticello Avenue. Area supports waterfowl on the lake and species that like mature oak and beech forest.

Waller Mill Park

The entrance is on Airport Road between the intersection of Route 645 and Rochambeau Road. Picnic areas and trails through mature woods are excellent for thrushes, vireos. Warblers, flycatchers, tanagers, and more.

Governor’s Land

Two islands on the shore of the James River off Route 5 near the intersection with the Chickahominy River. Protected by a conservation easement held by the Williamsburg Land Conservancy; boardwalk across marsh and trails through the woods are good for warblers, wrens, and ducks.

Bassett Hall Woods

Off Francis Street in Colonial Williamsburg, behind Basset Hall; stream, woods and a freshwater pond: look for wrens, thrushes, woodland birds.

Last Updated on Saturday, 29 September 2012 16:36

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