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Stewarts Creek Wildlife Management Area

Important Notices

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.

Description

Elevation: 1544 ft.

Perhaps Stewarts Creek is best known among locals for its high quality native brook trout fishing. This 1087-acre wildlife management area is located along the Blue Ridge Mountains and includes both the North and South forks of Stewarts Creek. Clear mountainside waters rush over rocky outcrops overlooked by extensive rhododendron thickets. The younger lowland creek bottoms, where not heavily vegetated by rhododendron, are wooded with yellow birch, tulip poplar, and several species of magnolias. Older, mature-growth forests at higher elevations are primarily composed of oaks, hickories, and maples. This is an excellent area to spy a diversity of wildlife. Canada warbler can be found in rhododendron thickets. In the woodlands at lower elevations, look for hooded and black-and-white warblers, American redstart, and wood thrush. In the more mature forests of upland areas, listen and look for black-throated blue and black-throated green warblers, scarlet tanager and veery. Wild turkey, ruffed grouse, white-tailed deer, and gray squirrel are abundant at Stewarts Creek; the elusive red fox may be seen as well.

Notes:

  • To Access the Site: A Restore the Wild Membership, Virginia hunting license, freshwater fishing license, boat registration, or an access permit is required.
  • Hunting could be occurring at this site April 1 – May 31 and September 1 – February 28th, except on Sundays. If you are visiting this site during hunting seasons, please wear blaze orange or blaze pink for safety.

Directions

The area is located about seven miles southeast of Galax, just south of the Blue Ridge Parkway. To reach the upper parking area, take the Blue Ridge Parkway and turn south on state route 715, then left on Route 975 to its end. The lower parking lot can be conveniently reached from Interstate 77, exiting at State Route 620. Go northwest on Route 620, turn left on Route 696, then turn right onto Route 795. Department Trailblazer signs indicate the correct route to both parking areas.

From the Previous Site on the Blue Ridge Highlands Loop of the VBWT:

From Laurel Hill, J.E.B. Stuart’s Birthplace, return to the Blue Ridge Parkway and its intersection with Rt. 631 just off of Rt. 608. Turn left and follow this road approximately 13.0 miles west to the junction of the Blue Ridge Parkway and US 52. Travel north on US 52 for 0.9 miles to SR 148, turn left on SR 148 and go 0.8 miles to I-77. From the junction of SR 148 and I-77 west of Fancy Gap, take I-77 South for 7.5 miles to Rt. 620/Lambsburg Road (Exit #1). Turn right, heading west on Rt. 620/Lambsburg Road for 1.2 miles to Rt. 696/Chestnut Grove Road. Turn left onto Rt. 696/Chestnut Grove Road and travel 0.6 miles to Rt. 795/Parkwood Road. Turn right onto Rt. 795/Parkwood Road; proceed 1.2 miles to the end of state maintenance.

Location & Directions

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Site Information

  • Site Contact: VA Dept. of Game & Inland Fisheries Region 3 office: 276-783-4860; BirdingTrail@dgif.virginia.gov
  • Website
  • Season: All
  • Access: Daily. Restore the Wild Membership, hunting license, freshwater fishing license, boat registration, or an access permit is required.

10 Most Recent Bird Observations Added to eBird

  • Mourning Dove
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Eastern Wood-Pewee
  • Eastern Phoebe
  • Yellow-throated Vireo
  • Red-eyed Vireo
  • Blue Jay
  • Carolina Chickadee
  • Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
  • Carolina Wren

Seasonal Bird Observations

Facilities

  • Information
  • Parking