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Blackwater Creek Natural Area and Hiking Trails

Important Notices

COVID-19 & the VBWT: Be Safe While OutdoorsDGIF 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.


Elevation: 611 ft.

The Blackwater Creek Natural Area includes 300-acres of forested areas situated within a narrow stream valley along Blackwater Creek. An extensive trail system, several miles in length, can accommodate hikers, joggers, and bikers, and in some areas, is handicap-accessible. Large oaks, hickories, poplars, and beeches wood these forests. Sourwood, dogwood, and spicebush fill in the understory, with asters, bloodroot, and jack-in-the-pulpit blooming amidst the forest floor. Pileated woodpecker, great horned owl, and green heron take residence along Blackwater Creek. Within the woodland forests, passerines are most diverse during spring and fall migration, but other nesting birds include black-and-white and yellow-throated warblers, brown thrasher, gray catbird, chipping sparrow, and American redstart. Reptiles such as black rat and northern water snakes are common within the woods, and along the creek, respectively. Mammalian denizens include red fox, white-tailed deer, and beaver.


From the Old City Cemetery, return to US 29 Business and turn right, continuing south on US 29 Business for 0.6 miles to the intersection of US 29 Business and US 501 Business. Turn right on US 501 Business, proceeding west for 0.7 miles to Tate Springs Road. Turn right onto Tate Springs Road and continue for 0.2 miles to Thomson Drive. Turn left onto Thomson Drive and drive 0.4 miles to its dead end. This is a trailhead for the Blackwater Creek Natural Area (as well as an entry point for Ruskin Freer Nature Preserve).

Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: (434) 847-1640 andrew.reeder@lynchburgva.gov
  • Website
  • Access: Free, Daily

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Bike Trails
  • Handicap Accessible
  • Hiking Trails
  • Parking