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cabins, and other structures under President Roosevelt's
CCC project, Douthat SP remains relatively unchanged.
Located in the Alleghany Mountains with their folded
ridges and extensive, linear valleys at higher elevations,
this area is a critical flyway for neotropical migrants.
LIFE LISTERS: Golden-winged Warbler / Loggerhead
Shrike / Eastern Meadowlark / Field Sparrow / Northern
Bobwhite / Blue-winged Warbler / Prairie Warbler / Hooded Warbler / Brown Thrasher / Indigo Bunting / Eastern
Towhee / Cerulean Warbler / Appalachian Winter Wren
/ Blue-gray Gnatcatcher / Bald Eagle / Louisiana Waterthrush / Northern Parula / Golden Eagle / Willow Flycatcher / Scarlet Tanager / Sharp-shinned Hawk
BIRD TRAILS: Hikers can explore the entire park on a
maze of crisscrossing trails. They range in length from
.5 miles to 4+ miles, and the terrain can be steep and
challenging. Easier trails can be found near the lake
and across the road from the restaurant and conference center.
Sky MeadowS State Park
At the base of the spine of the Blue Ridge escarpment
you will find Sky Meadows SP, a 1,864-acre area of woodlands, pastures, and historic significance. This location
has an abundance of avian diversity, and is one of Virginia's most important migration flyways. According to
Audubon, thousands of raptors fly over each year, and
thousands of passerines stop by during their migrations.
LIFE LISTERS: Acadian Flycatcher / Eastern Phoebe /
American Woodcock / 12+ warbler species including Prothonotary Warbler / Black-and-white Warbler / Goldenwinged Warbler / American Kestrel / Peregrine Falcon /
Sharp-shinned Hawk / Broad-winged Hawk / Cooper's
Hawk / Red-tailed Hawk / Northern Goshawk / Northern
Harrier / Bald Eagle / Golden Eagle / American Kestrel /
Osprey / Northern Bobwhite
BIRD TRAILS: Most trails in Sky Meadows SP are rated
easy to moderate and cover an interesting variety of landscapes. From the Blue Ridge Trails you can access four
spectacular scenic overlooks, a 5K trail, and a woodpecker
viewing area near the historic section of the park. On the
Lost Mountain Trails you can visit the migratory duck
pond, as well as overlooks and open pastures. The Appalachian Trail crosses through the western edge of the park.
WHERE TO STAY: Sky Meadows SP has 18 walk-in campsites for individuals, families, and large groups (no vehicle access). Pit toilets, nonpotable water, and firewood
available onsite. Hotel accommodations are 30+ minutes
from the park.
MUST-SEE: Tour the historic homes; listen to ranger presentations; check the availability of guided bird tours.
The prothonotary warbler
is a possible life lister at Sky
Meadows State Park.
WHERE TO STAY: Douthat SP offers 87 campsites with
grills, picnic tables, and bathhouses for tents and RVs at
four different sites within the park. You may also choose
from 35 permanent structure cabins of varying sizes and
MUST-SEE: Take a moment to notice the historic construction of the buildings, including original ironwork,
fixtures, and latches; and ask the ranger about the long
history here. Also, ask about guided birding adventures,
or grab a "nature knapsack" and set out on the trails.
Cedar Creek State Park
Within the 2,588-acre Cedar Creek SP there are three
lakes, rolling hills, wide valleys, forestlands, and a treasure trove of lowland warbler species.
LIFE LISTERS: Cerulean Warbler / Louisiana Waterthrush
/ Yellow Warbler / Common Yellowthroat / Hooded Warbler / Kirtland's Warbler (with a little luck) / Goldenwinged Warbler / Bald Eagle / Golden Eagle / Osprey
BIRD TRAILS: Fourteen miles of seven main trails.
WHERE TO STAY: You will find 65 standard campsites at
this park, along with the option for group camping. The
sites have running water, electricity, grills, picnic tables,
and shared comfort stations with showers and laundry.
MUST-SEE: One-room schoolhouse: Step back in time
in this historically accurate 1910 structure with its potbellied stove, old student and teacher desks, blackboard,
and stocked bookcases. For more history, visit the Civil
War history center, an 1861 church, and see costumed
staff in nearby Bulltown, WV Historic Area.
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