Elevation: 3229 ft.
Belcher Mountain Road is a driving route that takes the traveler past farmhouses and through the fields and forests of Virginia’s Blue Ridge. The road includes views of several small ponds as well as higher elevation fields around 3000 ft. For most of its 7.3-mile length, the road passes through deciduous woodlands and is an excellent place to search for woodland bird species.
Birds along this trail vary between the seasons with the highest variety occurring during migration. Breeding species in the area include downy woodpecker, northern flicker, eastern phoebe, eastern kingbird, blue-gray gnatcatcher, eastern bluebird, wood thrush, brown thrasher, cedar waxwing, red-eyed vireo, indigo bunting, eastern towhee, chipping, field and song sparrows, red-winged blackbird, and eastern meadowlark. A variety of warblers and both savannah and grasshopper sparrows have also been reported during the summer. The more open areas along the roads provide ideal opportunities to spot white-tailed deer although these are often seen crossing the road. The road margins support a good diversity of wildflowers with chicory, crown vetch, black-eyed Susans and Queen Anne’s lace. In turn, these wildflowers attract numerous butterflies. Swallowtails being especially abundant provide visitors a chance to admire the subtle differences between pipevine, spicebush, black and the black form of eastern tiger swallowtail.
- Drivers should exercise caution when navigating on Belcher Mountain Road. The roadway is gravel and contains multiple sections which have very steep elevation increases and decreases as well as numerous sharp turns. Although the road can support through traffic by passenger vehicles, it will not support vehicles larger than a heavy duty pickup truck.
- The pin on the Google map will take you to the West End Starting Point of the driving route.
West End Starting Point: Intersection of Belcher Mountain Road/SR-609 and Mill House Road/SR-616 in Woolwine, VA, Coordinates: 36.765169, -80.301548
From Floyd, head south on Woolwine Highway/VA-8, sharp right onto Mill House Road/SR-616 in Woolwine, and turn right onto Belcher Mountain Road/SR-609 in approximately 0.5 miles.
East End Starting Point: Intersection of Route 609/ Belcher Mountain Rd and Route 604/Helms Rd in Meadows of Dan, VA, Coordinates: 36.772319, -80.388153
From Meadows of Dan, take Willis Road/VA-758 north and turn right onto Belcher Mountain Road/SR-609 in approximately 2.8 miles.