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Fluvanna Heritage Trail – West, Pleasant Grove Park

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

The western end of Pleasant Grove Park’s Fluvanna Heritage Trail begins just behind the historical Pleasant Grove House. Set further back from the Rivanna River than the eastern end, this trail leads visitors through open fields composed of recent agricultural land and regenerating thickets surrounding old home sites. Birders may wish to explore an additional 0.65-mile birding trail that loops off of the Fluvanna Heritage Trail, just a short walk from the Fluvanna Heritage Trail’s trailhead.

Scan the open fields for migrant swallows, which sometimes congregate in large mixed flocks, with tree swallows and barn swallows forming the majority; however, northern rough-winged, cliff and bank swallows are also possible. These open fields can also host large flocks of rowdy killdeers especially in late summer and early fall.

Continuing on the Fluvanna Heritage Trail leading to the river, check the brushy re-growth lining the trail for northern cardinals, and Carolina wrens and for winter visitors, such as eastern towhee, American goldfinch, dark-eyed junco and white-throated sparrow. Spring and fall migration can be especially exciting with common yellowthroats and Lincoln’s sparrows skulking in the undergrowth, and magnolia warblers flitting overhead. Careful inspection could turn up a surprise such as, a rare warbler or perhaps even a Philadelphia vireo. This trail connects via the River Bluff trail to the eastern entrance.

While exploring the western end of Pleasant Grove Park, wildlife viewers may wish to also visit the pollinator garden, which is located across from the entrance to the museum parking lot, next to the Community Garden. This pollinator garden was created with assistance from the Fluvanna Master Gardeners and the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources.

A map of the trails at Pleasant Grove Park may be found on the Fluvanna County Parks and Recreation website.

Directions

Physical Address: 271 Pleasant Grove Drive, Palmyra, VA 22963

From Charlottesville, take VA-20/ Monticello Ave south towards VA-53 E/ Thomas Jefferson Pkwy. Turn left onto VA-53 E/ Thomas Jefferson Pkwy. Travel 14.2 miles. At the traffic circle, continue straight onto VA-53 E and go another 2.3 miles. Turn left onto Pleasant Grove Dr., entering Pleasant Grove Park.

From Palmyra, head west on State Rte 601 toward US-15 S. Turn left onto US-15 S and continue 0.4 miles. Turn right onto VA-53 and travel 1.8 miles. Turn right onto Pleasant Grove Dr., entering Pleasant Grove Park.

From the Previous Site on the Monticello & Rivanna Loop of the VBWT:

From Fluvanna Ruritan Lake return to Rt. 619 and turn left. Follow this road for approximately 3.0 miles to Rt. 660. Turn left and then make a quick right onto SR 53. Follow SR 53 for 1.8 miles to the entrance for Pleasant Grove on the left. Proceed down the gravel/dirt road 0.2 miles to either the trailhead located behind the Haden House or the one located to the left of the house.

Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: Fluvanna County Parks and Recreation: 434-589-2016, aspitzer@fluvannacounty.org
  • Website
  • Access: Free, open daily

10 Most Recent Bird Observations Added to eBird

  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Blue Jay
  • Carolina Chickadee
  • Tufted Titmouse
  • Golden-crowned Kinglet
  • Winter Wren
  • Carolina Wren
  • Eastern Bluebird
  • Hermit Thrush
  • Dark-eyed Junco

Seasonal Bird Observations

Facilities

  • Bike Trails
  • Hiking Trails
  • Parking
  • Picnic
  • Restrooms