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Richard P. Gravely, Jr Nature Preserve


Elevation: 738 ft.

The 75-acre Richard Gravely Nature Preserve is a beautiful spot to spend an afternoon or an entire day. With outstanding views of the Smith River and a variety of forest types, some reminiscent of higher elevations, this area has a wide array of wildlife to make this a great spot for viewing. Two miles of wooded trail are found on the property.

Most of this beautifully preserved area is on north facing slopes, gradually descending to the Smith River. While mature hardwoods and pines cover the higher areas, many of the areas closer to the river have thick stands of rhododendron and laurel that might make one think they were near Mount Rogers or at higher elevations further west in Virginia. During your trek along the river keep your eyes open for otter, belted kingfishers and a variety of warblers like Acadian flycatchers. Further upslope from the river, watch for wild turkey, deer, and the occasional box turtle. Smaller pools and streams on the property are sure to provide views of several species of salamanders.

This area is also known for its diverse collection of wildflowers, ferns and mushrooms. Trillium, bloodroot, and wild orchids are prolific on various portions of the Preserve. The north facing slopes have a diverse array of ferns, including Christmas, lady, walking, maidenhair, and others. One of the interpretive stops explains the wide variety of plants that occur on the property. In addition, history buffs will find this area contains the Burgess family cemetery, two century-old tobacco barns, and the history of the Burgess Plantation that once covered most of this area.


Location: 2525 Eggleston Falls Road, Ridgeway, VA 24148

From Martinsville, head south on US-220 BUS/S. Memorial Blvd/Greensboro Rd, turn left onto SR-782/Old Sand Rd, turn left onto SR-642/Eggleston Falls Rd, turn right to stay on SR-642/Eggleston Falls Rd, and the parking area will be on the left in approximately 2.2 miles.

Location & Directions

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Site Information

  • Site Contact: 276-634-4638,
  • Website
  • Access: Daily, sunrise-sunset

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Hiking Trails
  • Information
  • Interpretive Trail
  • Parking
  • Picnic
  • Restrooms