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Burke’s Garden

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: 3086 ft.

Burke’s Garden lies in a massive bowl formed by a mountain collapsing in on itself over time. This unique geology has formed a depression surrounded by mountain ridges which has led to the Garden being known as “God’s Thumbprint.”

Home to some of the most fertile land in Virginia, the resultant valley is the highest in the state. It is also home to some fantastic wildlife and awe-inspiring scenery. The country store just before the school marks the official start of the Heart of Appalachia Bike Trail. Park at the school and explore the area on bike or on foot. The mix of woodland, grassland, and marsh provides habitat for a wide variety of birds. More elusive species such as bobolink and loggerhead shrike have been reported intermingled amongst more common eastern meadowlark, and grasshopper and song sparrows. In summer, marshy areas are replete with wood duck, mallard, green and great blue herons, and Canada goose. Duck diversity is heightened in winter and during migration. During this time, the mill dam on the creek is a good sight to look for bald eagle, while golden eagle could appear anywhere in the garden. The wooded hillsides hold wild turkey and ruffed grouse, which occasionally halt traffic as they cross the little traveled roads leaving the Garden.

Inquire for more information by calling the listed number for Tazewell County, (276) 472-2471 for Burke’s Garden Farms, or (276) 472-2222 for Burke’s Garden General Store.


Physical Address: 6988 Burkes Garden Rd, Tazewell, VA 24651

From US 460 E near Tazewell, take exit 2 for SR 16 toward Tazewell and turn right onto SR 16 S/Tazewell Ave. In 0.8 miles, turn left (northeast) onto US 16 BUS/Fincastle Tpke and continue for 1.2 miles. Slight right onto Ben Bolt Ave and then right onto SR 61 E/Gratton Rd. In 4.5 miles, turn right (south) onto SR 623 and continue onto Burkes Garden Rd.

From I-81 S near Christiansburg/Radford, continue until taking exit 72 for I-11 N toward Bluefield/Charleston W. VA. Continue on I-77 N for 17.1 miles. Then, take exit 58 toward US-52/Bastian and turn left (west) onto SR 666. Turn left past the bridge onto US-52 S and then right onto SR 614. After 13.5 miles, turn left onto SR 61 W and continue for 4.3 miles. Turn left (south) onto SR 623 and continue straight onto Burkes Garden Rd.

From the previous site on the Mountain Heritage Loop of the VBWT:

From Sandy Head Ostrich, turn right and proceed 1.6 miles to SR 623. Turn left and travel 7.4 miles to the parking lot of Burkes Garden School on the right.

Location & Directions

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Site Information

  • Site Contact: (800) 588-9401
  • Website
  • Season:
  • Access: Free, Daily

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Bike Trails
  • Hiking Trails
  • Lodging
  • Parking
  • Picnic