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Matthews State Forest


Elevation: 2469 ft.

Matthews State Forest provides an excellent representation of the forests of southwest Virginia. The site’s relatively small size and approximately 1 mile of nature trails take the visitor through a labeled section of forest that introduces them to common resident trees such as white pine, white oak, black birch and American beech. Wide trail paths provide easy access for groups to walk through, although some of the steep grades may be difficult for wheelchairs. The birds of the area are numerous and noticeable from the interpretive trail. Brown thrasher constantly flit across the path as they welcome nature enthusiasts to the forest. Red-eyed vireo call from the older stands of woods while white-eyed vireo make their presence known from the newer growth. The numerous plantings around the visitor center attract an array of butterflies. Eastern tiger swallowtail, great spangled fritillary and silver-spotted skipper are joined by common wood-nymph and eastern tailed-blue.


From the Oldtown Public Boat Landing, return to Rt. 641. Follow Rt. 641 for 1.3 miles to Rt. 634. Turn right on Rt. 634 and continue south for 1.2 miles to Rt. 640. Turn left on Rt. 640 and proceed 1.0 mile to US 58 West/US 221 South. Travel south for 1.1 miles to Matthews State Forest on the right.

Location & Directions

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Site Information

  • Site Contact: (276) 773-3711,
  • Website
  • Access: Free, Daily

Birds Recently Seen at Matthews State Forest (as reported to eBird)

  • Mourning Dove
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Red-shouldered Hawk
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • Blue Jay
  • American Crow
  • Carolina Chickadee
  • Field Sparrow
  • White-throated Sparrow
  • Song Sparrow

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Environmental Study Area
  • Accessible
  • Hiking Trails
  • Information
  • Lookout Tower
  • Parking