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UVA College at Wise


Elevation: 2464 ft., The 400-acre campus of UVA College at Wise offer a variety of habitats that serve as home to a diversity of wildlife. In addition to manicured lawns typical of most college campuses, this site offers large fields, dense brush thickets, young and old-growth woodland forests, reclaimed strip-mines, ponds, and creeks. An interpretive trail educating viewers on the historical legacy of coal mining in the area runs alongside a series of wetlands at the campus’s center. Six ponds of varying sizes are located in the more remote areas of campus and produce an assortment of migrant shorebirds and waterfowl as well as nesting birds such as green heron. The open, strip-mined areas still attract golden-winged warbler with some regularity. “Brewster’s” warbler, a golden-winged x blue-winged hybrid, can also be found in this area. Woodland forests are home to a large number of nesting birds including wood warblers, vireos, and other typical woodland songbirds. Red-shouldered hawk often nests in these woods, as well. Throughout the campus, you will find an abundance of open land songbirds like song sparrow and American robin. In spring and/or fall, look for migrant warblers, thrushes, tanagers, vireos, grosbeaks, and sparrows. American woodcock is a fairly regular spring visitor.


Location Coordinates: 36.973233, -82.559026

From US 58 ALT in Norton travel north on US 23 for 2.1 miles to US 23 BUS North (Norton Road). Drive for 1.3 miles on US 23 BUS to the center of Wise. At the stoplight in the center of town, turn right onto Rt. 640 and follow 0.6 miles to Darden Drive/Rt. 646. Turn right on Darden Drive/Rt. 646 and travel 0.7 miles to the UVA College of Wise entrance on the left. Take an immediate left onto Clinch Valley Drive and follow this road past the pond area on your right. Turn right onto Asbury-Thompson Drive and park in the parking lot behind Martha Randolph Hall, the trailhead is within site of this parking lot (location coordinates: 36.973778, -82.55888).

Location & Directions

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Site Information

  • Site Contact: Dr. Walter Smith: (276) 376-4642;
  • Website
  • Access: Daily, sunrise-sunset; admission free

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Accessible
  • Hiking Trails
  • Interpretive Trail
  • Parking
  • Restrooms