We offer a range of field trips from September through May, as well as an annual member picnic. Guided birding trips are held during peak bird migration and breeding seasons. Bring binoculars, if you have them. Wear sturdy shoes and plan on walking for about two hours on paved trails. If weather forces cancellation, a notification will be sent by the club listserv (sign up) and WhatsApp.
October field trips
Member Bill Akers leads this walk on the first Saturday of every month during fall migration. With a stream, pond, and wooded areas, this 1.5-mile paved trail yields sometimes up-close views of warblers and a range of other species. We'll spend about two hours exploring its wonders.
Member Bill Akers will lead this walk around the U.S. Forest Service site. With its woodlands and grassy fields, it hosts a range of species, from resident and migrating songbirds to wild turkeys. We'll spend about two hours exploring its wonders. Directions from Blacksburg, VA: Follow US 460 west for 2.8 miles. Turn right on Craig Creek Road (SR 621). Go 8.8 miles. We'll meet in the gravel parking area on the right hand side of the road.
Glen Alton Day Use Area is a 304-acre U.S Forest Service recreational area near Ripplemead in Giles County that was a working farm until the 1980's. Majestic trees, open pastures, wetlands, and ponds draw a plethora of bird and other wildlife species.
To carpool: Meet at the gravel parking area at the intersection of U.S. 460 and Virginia 700 (the road to Mountain Lake Lodge) in Pembroke at 7:30 a.m. Once we arrive at Glen Alton, we'll spend about two hours birding the grounds and wetland areas in search of fall migrants. This hike has uneven ground.
Hardy souls may then continue on to Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory on Peters Mountain just across the border near Union, West Virginia. There member Bill Opengari will lead us up a steep and rocky one-mile trail to a rebuilt fire tower on a saddleback ridge with views of Virginia on one side and West Virginia on the other. The observatory lets you watch in comfort for a range of raptors and other bird species. Bring a lunch and plenty of water. Wear sturdy hiking shoes. Dress for rain and unexpectedly cold weather.
Historic Smithfield's mansion and grounds recreate life on the 18th century Virginia frontier. The eight-acre property sits within the bounds of Virginia Tech. Its tree cover, gardens, and fields host a range of bird species. Trip leader Bill Akers will lead us on a two-hour search for late-season migrants. We'll meet in the gravel parking lot.