Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Virginia: Trail Goes to the Birds

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Virginia: Trail Goes to the Birds

Article excerpt

There's more to Virginia than Monticello, Civil War battlefields and colonial America museums. Virginia has a "wild side." And the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF) is helping visitors discover it.

The VDGIF has created the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail. This trail consists of three distinct segments: the Coastal, the Piedmont and the Mountain. Each segment contains anywhere from 13 to 34 loop trails, encompassing hundreds of miles.

In all, sites had to pass a 35-point criteria plan to be included in the trail system. Such criteria included evaluating the site's biodiversity, whether the site offered a unique Virginia wildlife experience, its location to other sites along the trail, and if there were cultural or historical areas nearby that would offer additional experiences for tourists.

The new trail system pays special attention to wildlife, showing off 400 species of birds, 250 species of fish, 150 species of terrestrial and marine animals, 150 species of amphibians and reptiles, and a wealth of other species present in Virginia for nature voyeurs to enjoy.

David Whitehurst, director of Wildlife Diversity at VDGIF, said there were many reasons as to why this trail system was created. …

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