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Appalachian Trail, from Milam Gap to Tanners Ridge Fire Road

Important Notices

COVID-19 & the VBWT: Be Safe While OutdoorsDWR encourages you to be safe while outdoors. Before heading out, first check with individual sites on the Virginia Bird & Wildlife Trail to find out whether they are still open to the public. Information regarding closures is typically posted on a site's own website. Be advised that some sites, even if still open, may have certain public facilities closed during this time. If a site is still open, maintain CDC social distancing guidelines while enjoying the outdoors.

Description

Elevation: 3235 ft.

The Appalachian Trail from Milam Gap to the Tanners Ridge Fire road takes the visitor through deep-rooted home sites with few remaining remnants other than numerous apple trees now gone wild. However, these former orchards provide great foraging for white-tailed deer while hosting a great variety of bird life. In the spring, several species of warbler breed along the trail and can be heard loudly proclaiming their territory. As the summer progresses the singing gradually stops and once the year’s chicks are hatched, the birds leave their territories and move around more freely. In late summer the warblers join with the rowdy Carolina chickadees and tufted titmice to search for food and the occasional screech owl to scold. Search these mixed flocks for red-eyed and blue-headed vireos, ovenbird, worm-eating, black-and-white, hooded and chestnut-sided warblers. Some of the forest residents tend not to associate with chickadee and titmouse. Look for veery and wood thrush to be out on their own exploring the leaf litter for worms and other tasty morsels. While exploring this trail listen carefully for the high-pitched squeaks of eastern chipmunk and the lower churring growls of gray squirrel. Both of these native residents can make exciting noises that can often lead the unwary in search of non-existent birds.

A map of the area along with additional information is available through the Shenandoah National Park website provided.

Directions

Skyline Drive Milepost: between 52 – 53

Park in the Milam Gap parking area between milepost 52-53 off of Skyline Drive. The Appalachian Trail crosses Skyline Drive at this point.  Head north on the Appalachian Trail (about 1.2 miles) until you reach the Tanners Ridge Fire Rd. This will be about a 2.4 mile round trip hike.

From the Previous Site on the Skyline Drive Loop of the VBWT:

From Big Meadows in Shenandoah National Park, continue south 1.4 miles on Skyline Drive to the parking area on the right.

Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: Shenandoah National Park: (540) 999-3500
  • Website
  • Access: Daily, sunrise-sunset; admission fee

Seasonal Bird Observations

Facilities

  • Camping
  • Environmental Study Area
  • Hiking Trails
  • Parking