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Claytor Nature Center

Description

Elevation: 942 ft.

Located at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this 491-acre conserved property of the University of Lynchburg contains freshwater streams, upland and lowland forests, wetlands, grasslands, and a portion of the Big Otter River. Visitors can explore the area on 7.5 miles of  trails and will be particularly impressed with the wetland restoration work that has returned former croplands to their original wetland state. Visitors can expect to see a variety of songbirds on this property because of the wide array of habitats available. In spring, watch for pine warbler, grasshopper sparrow, Acadian flycatcher, and wood thrush. Mammals on this property include a healthy white-tailed deer population and perhaps a river otter or black bear for quiet visitors. The large expanse of moist grasslands with neighboring wetlands will give visitors a good look at a large number of dragonflies and damselflies. In addition, evening visits should provide a wonderful chorus of spring peepers and other frogs in the spring and early summer.

Directions

Physical Address (North Entrance): 1844 Woods Rd, Bedford, VA 24523

From I-81 near Lexington, continue south for about 20.5 miles. Take exit 167 for US 11 toward Buchanan and turn left onto US 11 S. In 1.4 miles, sharp left onto SR 43 S/Parkway Dr and continue for 4.7 miles. Then turn left onto the ramp to Bedford and turn left onto SR 43 S. In 4.9 miles, turn right to stay on SR 43 S/Peaks Rd and follow for 6.2 miles until the gravel entrance appears to the left.

From University of Lynchburg campus, turn left onto Lakeside Drive/Rt. 221 and drive 17.2 miles toward Bedford, Virginia. Turn right on Centerville Road/Rt. 671 and drive 2.7 miles. Go straight at the intersection of Rt. 671/644 and Rt. 122, and proceed 2.6 miles on Fancy Farm Road/Rt. 644 to Peaks Road/Rt.43. Turn right onto Peaks Road/Rt. 43 and proceed 1.4 miles to Woods Road/Rt. 682, just past the Big Otter River crossing. Turn right onto Woods Road and follow for about 0.8 mile to the Education & Research Center entrance on the right. Follow gravel drive down to parking area adjacent to the building.

Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: 434-544-8360, claytor@lynchburg.edu
  • Website
  • Access: Fee, Daily (Check website for entrance fee and hours)

Birds Recently Seen at Claytor Nature Center (as reported to eBird)

  • Wood Duck
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Belted Kingfisher
  • Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • Acadian Flycatcher
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • Red-eyed Vireo
  • American Crow
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • White-breasted Nuthatch

Seasonal Bird Observations

Facilities

  • Visitor/Nature Center
  • Camping
  • Environmental Study Area
  • Fee
  • Hiking Trails
  • Interpretive Nature Program
  • Lodging
  • Parking
  • Restrooms
  • Observation Platform
  • Historical Site