Discover our wild side

Published 10:30 pm Friday, December 21, 2018

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Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries

It’s easy to discover Virginia’s wild side with The Virginia Bird and Wildlife Trail, an organized network of outdoor sites highlighting the best places to see birds and wildlife in the Commonwealth. Walk a nature trail, paddle a river, or enjoy a scenic overlook to experience Virginia’s wealth of natural diversity, ranging from brown pelicans and bottlenose dolphins along our Atlantic Coast to bald eagles and black bear in the Blue Ridge Mountains. With 400 species of birds, 150 species of mammals, 150 species of amphibians and reptiles, 250 species of fish, plus hundreds of butterfly, dragonfly, and other invertebrate species, you’ll soon see why Virginia is a premier destination for birding and wildlife viewing.

Start Your Exploration:

Find a site near you – Use the interactive maps and menus at Find Wildlife: Viewing to search for viewing sites near you or by city/county, search for sites with specific birds and wildlife of interest, or get driving directions to a site from your current location.

Plan a trip – The VBWT features 65 trail loops to help you plan your outdoor travels. Each loop contains multiple birding and wildlife viewing sites; select those that interest you most or drive from site-to-site. Each loop has a webpage with a map of the loop, descriptions of its viewing sites, and links to tourism information. To get started, select from the coastal, piedmont or mountain regions using the links below.

Coastal Region (

Virginia’s Coastal Plain contains 18 trail loops to explore its scenic seashores, untouched barrier islands, cypress swamps, great stands of pine forest, and bayside salt marshes. Look for bald eagles and osprey, wintering geese and ducks, rails, shorebirds, and migrating songbirds. Additional wildlife includes marine mammals, turtles, lizards, snakes, and frogs, plus abundant butterflies and dragonflies.

Piedmont Region (

Virginia’s Piedmont region contains the rolling foothills and river valleys between the Coastal Plain and the Blue Ridge Mountains. This area offers 13 loops to explore expansive grasslands, forests, pineland savannahs, and large reservoirs. Look for bobolinks, meadowlarks, turkey, grosbeaks, indigo buntings, prairie warblers, and northern parulas. Additional wildlife includes white-tailed deer, lizards, and turtles. Along the way you’ll also discover an abundance of rich history and culture!

Mountain Region (

34 loops through the Blue Ridge, Allegheny, and Cumberland Mountains help you explore the expansive vistas, scenic overlooks, back roads, forests, reservoirs, and rivers of the Appalachians. Look for over 20 species of warblers, migrating hawks, owls and grouse. Additional wildlife includes black bear and white-tailed deer. During your travels, be sure to enjoy the unique Appalachian food, music and culture.

Contact Us:

Additional support for this project is provided by VDOT, Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program and Virginia is for Outdoor Lovers.

The VBWT is proud to be a part of Virginia Green, a network of tourism-related organizations and programs that are committed to protecting and promoting the environment.