::: Activities > Nature Trails




::: Birding Trails

In Highland County, there are six main birding areas: the Blue Grass Valley Trail, the Bullpasture Valley Trail, the US 220 (south) Bluebird Trail, the Town of Monterey, Laurel Fork, and Jack Mountain Wildlife Management Area. Click for trail descriptions.

::: Hiking Trails

The McDowell Battlefield Trail leads to the top of Sittlington Hill and the core of the McDowell Battlefield. A marker will direct you either east returning to the parking area or west to continue to the western end of the trail. The eastern end of the trail starts on the south side of Rt. 250 at the Battlefield parking area, approximately one mile from the top of Bullpasture Mountain. The western end of the trail starts on the south side on Rt. 250, directly across from the old mill on the Bullpasture River. Parking is available at the Presbyterian Church at the junction of Rt. 678. Click for a map of the trail.

Buck Run and Locust Spring Run Trails are located on the turn-of-the-century railroad tram grades used by the previous landowner to log virgin timber. The 2.9 Buck Run Trail (#598) provides a spectacular view of beaver ponds, open glades and vegetation such as ferns, cranberry bogs and northern hardwoods that you would expect to see in Canada.

The 3.1 mile Locust Spring Run Trail (#633) provides views of northern hardwoods and is an ideal trail for viewing whitetail deer and wild turkey. Locust Spring Run and other connecting waterways contain native Brook Trout. Both trails are designated with blue blazes, and the elevation range is from 2,920' to 3,678'.. Click for a map of the trails.

Directions: From Monterey, VA, travel north on Rt. 220 for 7 miles, turning left/west onto Rt. 642. This turns right ½ mile after passing through Blue Grass. Stay on Rt. 642 as it becomes a gravel road, and travel approximately 13 miles, turning onto Forest Rd. #106. Travel 7 miles and turn right onto Forest Road #60. Travel ½ mile and turn right onto Forest Rd. #142. Drive ½ mile to Locust Springs. The two trails form a loop. Note that there are other trails in the Laurel Fork area. CAUTION: This is a remote wooded area requiring a lengthy scenic drive with the last 21 miles graveled road.


::: Wildflower Trails

In Highland County, there are seven areas that contain prime wildflower trails: the Blue Grass Valley Trail, the Lower Bullpasture Valley Trail, the Upper Bullpasture Valley Trail, Big Valley, Back Creek, Laurel Fork, and Jack Mountain Wildlife Management Area. Click for trail descriptions.


::: For additional information . . .

Request a copy of the Birding Trails Brochure

Request a copy of the Trail Guide Brochure

Request a copy of the Wildflower Trails Brochure


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The Highland County Chamber of Commerce
P. O. Box 223 • Monterey VA 24465
Tel (540) 468-2550 • Fax (540) 468-2551


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