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Warm Springs Mountain Preserve – Ingalls Overlook Trail

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.


The Ingalls Overlook Trail is located in Warm Springs Mountain Preserve, a keystone tract nested within a 77,000-acre unfragmented forest providing essential habitat for wide ranging mammals and migratory songbirds. This 1.2 mile out-and-back trail (2.4 miles round-trip) offers the unique opportunity to experience an Appalachian oak-pine forest entirely from a ridgeline. If you arrive during the late spring and early summer, listen for the lively song of Indigo Buntings or the buzz of Golden-winged Warblers along the power line right-of-way near the trailhead. Chestnut-sided Warblers and Cerulean Warblers can also be found at this site. Ovenbirds, Scarlet Tanagers and Black-and-white Warblers are abundant summer breeding songbirds in the area but also listen for the less common Blue-headed Vireo and Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Interpretive signs along the trail provide an overview of the natural history of the area. The trail culminates with a lookout point offering stunning views of Shenandoah Mountain and across the Cowpasture River valley and offers the opportunity for viewing the fall migration of Broad-winged Hawks and other raptors. There are many species of butterflies and moths to observe in spring and summer. In the early spring, look for pink lady-slipper orchids, mayapple, bloodroot and other spring ephemeral wildflowers along the trail. Visitors are advised that the trail is a moderately strenuous uphill hike towards the lookout point, but then an easy downhill hike on the return.


Location: State Route 39 at the crest of Warm Springs Mountain, just East of Warm Springs

The Dan Ingalls Overlook is located on Route 39 just outside the village of Warm Springs. Here you will find the trailhead for the Ingalls Overlook Trail.

From the Previous Site on the Headwaters of the James Loop of the VBWT:

From Green Valley Hunter’s Paradise, return to SR 629 (Deerfield Rd.) and turn left. Travel along SR 629 for 8.3 miles. Turn right onto VA-39 West and travel 5.2 miles. Turn right into the scenic overlook parking area. The trailhead is adjacent to the Dan Ingalls Overlook.


Location & Directions

View on Google Maps

Site Information

  • Site Contact: The Nature Conservancy, Allegheny Highlands Program Office: 540-839-3599; marek_smith@tnc.org
  • Website
  • Season: spring, summer, fall
  • Access: dawn to dusk

Seasonal Bird Observations


  • Hiking Trails
  • Interpretive Trail
  • Lookout Tower
  • Parking