|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: 2571 ft.
Harvey’s Knob Overlook is a popular hawk-watch site along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Located at 2524 feet, this site is heavily visited in the fall by local birders enraptured by migratory raptors. In addition to large numbers of broad-winged hawks that are in greatest density during mid-September, look for osprey and bald eagle. Accipiters, such as sharp-shinned and Cooper’s hawks, peak in numbers during the month of October. Falcons such as peregrine falcon and merlin are seen in smaller numbers during this time. Later in October and into November, look for red-tailed and red-shouldered hawks, with a possibility of seeing an occasional golden eagle or northern goshawk. Non-raptor species, such as common nighthawk, tundra swan, common loon, and several species of swallow can also be seen during fall migration. A trailhead into the surrounding woodlands can be productive for additional wildlife-viewing. Dark-eyed junco, indigo bunting, scarlet tanager, and wood thrush nest within these woods. During September and October, migrating passerines can sometimes be seen in spectacular numbers, especially warblers. White-tailed deer are abundant, some with little caution, approach strangers with curiosity. This site also offers interpretive signage on hawk-watching and provides identification tips to novice hawk-watchers.
Physical Location: Mile Marker 95.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, near Roanoke, Virginia
From Roanoke, access the Blue Ridge Parkway from Route 220. Once on the Parkway, travel North toward the Peaks of Otter. Harveys Knob is about 10 miles from Route 460.
From Bedford or Buchanan, access the Blue Ridge Parkway from Route 43 and head towards the Peaks of Otter and then travel South.