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5 Birding Trails

~ Thursday, May 19, 2016

Cranberry Glades

The habitat of the Cranberry Glades, along with the surrounding 7 mile Cow Pasture Trail (TR253), is a high elevation wetland and an early successional Red Spruce and Northern Hardwood forest of 750 acres. The Glades are made up of four bogs similar to the muskegs of the far north.

If you walk along any of these trails, there is a good chance you’ll spy an array of raptors, including Golden Eagles, Rough-legged hawk,as well as grouse, wild turkey, American Woodcock, Black-billed and Yellow-billed cuckoo, owls, woodpeckers, swallows and flycatchers. After the first of May wood warblers including Northern Waterthrush, Canada, Black-throated Blue and Green, Blackburnian, and others may be spotted and heard singing.

Greenbrier River Trail

Varied cover and the proximity of water make the Greenbrier River Trail a good place to bird. There are many people using the trail for hiking or biking but most will not notice the marvels in the woods.

You can find Grebes, Herons and several species of ducks. Hooded Mergansers and Buffleheads are often seen near Marlinton, as are cuckoos and owls. Watch for Bald Eagles along Knapps Creek and the Greenbrier River.

Calvin Price Forest

For hiking and birding Calvin Price Forest is an undiscovered wonderland of 9000 acres, with great opportunity for a fine experience.

Keep alert for raptors, grouse and wild turkeys, woodpeckers and sapsuckers, three species of vireo, Golden-crowned and Ruby-crowned kinglets, wood warbles including Black and White, Canada, Magnolia, Northern Parula, and Louisiana Waterthrush.


Highland Scenic Highway

The 21-mile Highland Scenic Highway runs along the ridges of Cranberry, Black and Tea Creek Mountains with overlooks giving spectacular views of the evergreen and deciduous forests of the Allegheny Highlands.

Along the southern end, good trails include High Rocks Trail(TR409), Back Mountain Trail(TR412) and Forest road(FR461). In breeding season Swanson’s Thrush and Hermit Thrush can be heard singing on opposite sides of the road.

The northern portion of the Highway gives access to the Williams River Trail(TR487)Tea Creek Mountain(452), Tea Creek Trail(TR454), Bannock Shoals Trail(FR446), Tea Creek Interpretive, and Red Spruce Knob Trails(405)

Gaudineer Knob and Scenic Area

At an elevation of 4445 feet, Gaudineer Knob, the highest elevation of Shavers Mountain, a ridge of the Alleghenies, with nearly pure stands of Red Spruce, offers habitat to many boreal forest birds.

Gaudier Scenic Area, an area of 140 acres with an elevation of about 4000 ft, is preserved as a result of a surveying error, leaving old growth forest in this small area.(lucky for us).

Trails include Gaudineer Knob, Gaudineer Interpretive/Virgin Spruce Trail, and Allegheny Trail.The Allegheny Trail from the Virgin Spruce to U.S. 250 is a strenuous trek of 5.6 miles but the views are well worth it.

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At an elevation of 4445 feet, Gaudineer Knob, the highest elevation of Shavers Mountain, a ridge of the Alleghenies, with nearly pure stands of Red Spruce, offers habitat to many boreal forest birds.

Gaudier Scenic Area, an area of 140 acres with an elevation of about 4000 ft, is preserved as a result of a surveying error, leaving old growth forest in this small area.(lucky for us).

Trails include Gaudineer Knob, Gaudineer Interpretive/Virgin Spruce Trail, and Allegheny Trail.The Allegheny Trail from the Virgin Spruce to U.S. 250 is a strenuous trek of 5.6 miles but the views are well worth it.

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