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Winston-Salem Field Trip Schedule and Descriptions

Friday, April 28 Saturday, April 29
All-day All-day
Trip #1Blue Ridge Parkway South—6:15
Trip #2Stone Mountain State Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Doughton Park—6:15
Trip #3Hanging Rock State Park & Surrounding Area—6:15
Trip #4Pilot Mountain State Park—6:30
Trip #5NC Zoo & Uwharrie National Forest—6:30
Trip #26Blue Ridge Parkway South—6:15
Trip #27Stone Mountain State Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Doughton Park—6:15
Trip #28Hanging Rock State Park and Surrounding Area—6:15
Trip #29Pilot Mountain State Park—6:30
Half-day Morning Half-day Morning
Trip #8Tanglewood Country Park—7:00
Trip #9Reynolda Gardens—7:15
Trip #10Historic Bethabara Park—7:00
Trip #11Miller Park & Archie Elledge Treatment Plant—8:15
Trip #12Hamilton Lakes Park & Bog Garden—6:30
Trip #13Northeast Park/Baldwin-Sockwell Road—7:00
Trip #14Piedmont Environmental Center & Greenway—6:45
Trip #33Tanglewood Country Park—7:00
Trip #34Reynolda Gardens—7:15
Trip #35Historic Bethabara Park—7:00
Trip #36Hamilton Lakes Park & Bog Garden—6:30
Trip #37Civitan Park, Salem Creek Greenway & Salem Lake—6:45
Trip #38Price Park—7:15
Trip #39Chinqua-Penn Walking Trail—6:30
Half-day Afternoon Half-day Afternoon
Trip #18Tanglewood Country Park—1:00
Trip #19Reynolda Gardens—1:00
Trip #20Historic Bethabara Park—1:00
Trip #21Civitan Park, Salem Creek Greenway & Salem Lake—12:45
Trip #22Piedmont Environmental Center & Greenway—12:45
Trip #23Sanders Ridge Vineyard & Big Woods Restaurant—12:45
Trip #43Tanglewood Country Park—1:00
Trip #44Reynolda Gardens—1:00
Trip #45Historic Bethabara Park—1:00
Trip #46Washington Park & Salem Creek Greenway—1:00
Trip #47Price Park—12:45
Trip #48Chinqua-Penn Walking Trail—12:45

Essential Planning Notes for the Winston-Salem Meeting!

Friday, April 14th is the last date you can cancel and receive a refund of your registration fee and banquet charge. If you have to cancel after the refund cutoff date, please notify the Headquarters Secretary so we can give your field trip space to someone on the waiting list.

Winston-Salem Meeting Field Trip Descriptions

Trips 1, 26: Blue Ridge Parkway South (All Day)

(NC Birding Trail–Northern Blue Ridge Parkway Group, ebird hot spot) Our route is along NC Hwy 21 up the escarpment through Roaring Gap to the Blue Ridge Parkway. A stop at Little Glade Mill Pond at milepost 230 should yield tanagers, orioles and warblers in the hardwoods on either side of the parkway. The next stop is Mahogany Rock where hummingbirds, Indigo Bunting, Chestnut-sided, Black-throated Green and Black-throated Blue Warblers, Common Yellowthroat and Yellow-breasted Chat are sometimes found. Grassy fields at the Bluffs Lodge sometimes harbor Grasshopper Sparrows and Horned Larks. If time permits, we will stop at Basin Creek at the south side of Doughton Park and look for Hooded and Worm-eating Warblers, Waterthrushes, redstarts, thrushes and Acadian Flycatchers. The fields along Longbottom Road are good for hawks, Wild Turkey, Eastern Kingbird and Tree Swallow. Bring snacks, water and lunch for this full day outing. There are restrooms at Doughton Park and limited toilet facilities elsewhere.
Approximate Travel Time: 1 hour.

Trips 2, 27: Stone Mountain State Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, Doughton Park (All Day)

(NC Birding Trail–Northern Blue Ridge Parkway Group, ebird hot spot) This trip takes us to several different areas, giving us opportunities for a long list of species. First we'll drive through Stone Mountain State Park, with brief stops for warblers. Louisiana Waterthrush is possible here. Next we'll pass through Wilkes County fields where we will watch for Wild Turkey and Tree Swallows. From there, our route will take us along Long Bottom Road where we will stop to bird Basin Creek for Acadian Flycatchers and several species of warblers, including Northern Parula, Louisiana and Northern Waterthrush, Black-throated Green, Black-throated Blue, Yellow-throated, Black and White, Worm-eating and American Redstart. After ascending the escarpment on Hwy 18, we'll take the Parkway north to the upper end of Doughton Park, stopping at overlooks and Mahogany Rock, for Common Ravens, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Chestnut-sided Warblers and possibly Red-breasted Nuthatches. On our return to Winston-Salem along Hwy 21 through Roaring Gap, we'll make a brief stop to check the lakes for Wood Ducks and late migrant waterfowl. Bring snacks, water and lunch for this full day outing. Restrooms are available at Doughton Park and at convenience stores and gas stations along the route.
Approximate Travel Time: 1 hour.

Trips 3, 28: Hanging Rock State Park & Surrounding Area (All Day)

(NC Birding Trail–Northwest Piedmont Group, ebird hot spot) Hanging Rock State Park offers sheer cliffs and peaks of bare rock, quiet forests and cascading waterfalls and views of the piedmont plateau that stretch for miles. Peregrine Falcon and Common Raven can be seen performing aerial acrobatics during courtship. Listen for Black-throated Green Warblers, Worm-eating Warblers and Hooded Warblers along any number of the trails including the short trails to the five waterfalls in the park. The mountain laurel and rhododendron make this area especially beautiful in the spring. Although there are several strenuous trails in the park, we will be on trails that are moderate to easy. Bring snacks, water and lunch for this full day outing. Restrooms are available in the park.
Approximate Travel Time: 1 hour.

Trips 4, 29: Pilot Mountain State Park (All Day)

(NC Birding Trail–Northwest Piedmont Group, ebird hot spot) Pilot Mountain rises more than 1400 feet above the rolling countryside of the upper Piedmont as you approach the park. The Park offers hiking trails through a variety of habitats. The mountain section is forested in northern piedmont mixed hardwoods/pine, culminating in a quartzite monadnock at the summit while one of the most scenic stretches of the Yadkin River flows through the lower elevations. A 6.5-mile woodland corridor links the two sections. A wide variety of species associated with water may be seen in the river section, including Bald Eagle, Snowy Egret, Green Heron and migrating raptors. We can expect to see a wide variety of migrating passerines (including warblers, tanagers, grosbeaks and thrushes), along with woodpeckers and sparrows and other grassland species. Restrooms are available in the park (some primitive). Throughout the day expect 5 to 7 miles of moderate hiking. Please bring a reusable water bottle, snacks, a lunch, binoculars and your own bug spray and sunscreen. Participants should expect to walk quite a bit; sections of the trails may be hilly.
Approximate Travel Time: 30 min.

Trip 5: North Carolina Zoological Park (All Day)

(NC Birding Trail–Uwharrie Group, ebird hot spot) In addition to the exotic birds of the R.J. Reynolds Forest Aviary, the open spaces of the 1500-acre NC Zoo offer both understory and tree canopy of oak forest and mixed hardwood / pine, small wetlands and lake habitats where we can find a wide variety of migrating passerines, native ducks and wading birds. Purgatory Mountain Trail begins at the north end of the North America Region parking lot and extends a mile to the top of scenic Purgatory Mountain. According to the most popular Randolph County legend, Purgatory Mountain gained its name during U.S. Prohibition era when there were so many whiskey stills built on the mountain that their fires lit up at night like "purgatory." Purgatory Mountain is the highest point in the Zoo and part of the Uwharrie Mountain range, thought by geologists to be the oldest in North America. Here the biologically significant forests change from an oak hickory to a high-elevation chestnut forest at the top of the mountain. There is a $13 per person entry fee to enter the Zoo (to be paid at the Zoo). We will enjoy a brief tour of the Valerie H. Schindler Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, which provides free veterinary care to sick, injured and orphaned native wildlife. After our tour, we will walk through the Zoo grounds as birders.

This field trip also provides some alternatives to birding. After lunch you may want to check out the Zoo exhibits and shops, just let the leader know and drive separately or carpool with someone whose schedule coincides with yours.

In the afternoon, for those interested and if we have time, we will continue to Uwharrie National Forest–Birkhead Wilderness Area or Densons Creek Nature Trail. Both offer walks through a mixed hardwoods and pine forest, with successional grassland (Birkhead), floodplain forest and creek habitat (Densons Creek) as well. Trails are fairly easy to walk. Participants should expect to walk quite a bit. Sections of the trail may be hilly. Restrooms are available in both locations.
Approximate Travel Time: 1 hour, 15 min.

Trips 8, 18, 33, 43: Tanglewood Country Park (Half Day)

(NC Birding Trail–Northwest Piedmont Group, ebird hot spot) This beautiful park of over 1000 acres along the Yadkin River features varied habitats and year-round bird viewing opportunities. We will likely be birding from the car as well as hiking on trails and service roads to cover native grass meadow, oak forest, mixed hardwoods/pine forest, early successional, mesic forest habitat and the wetlands viewing platform. We will bird through the Manor House, golf course, cemetery, horse track, stables and picnic areas and a portion of the Yadkin River Trail, developed in partnership between the Forsyth Audubon Society. The diversity of habitat supports a wide variety of birds. Watch for Red-headed (although these are becoming harder to see) and Pileated Woodpeckers, Wood Ducks, Cliff Swallows, and nesting Baltimore Orioles. Expect Indigo Buntings, Green Heron, Eastern Kingbird, Blue Grosbeak, flycatchers and several species of warblers, including nesting Prothonotary Warblers. Trails are well maintained and fairly easy walking.

There is a $2 per car entrance fee. Restrooms are available.
Approximate Travel Time:15 min.

Trips 9, 19, 34, 44: Reynolda Gardens (Half Day)

(NC Birding Trail–Northwest Piedmont Group, ebird hot spot) The grounds and trails around the 129-acre former R. J. Reynolds estate are in the heart of Winston-Salem adjacent to and owned by Wake Forest University. This is known by the locals to be one of the best birding destinations in town. Every warbler, thrush and vireo on the county list has been observed here. The sun reaches the abundant tall trees early, which become alive with warblers, vireos, orioles, tanagers and grosbeaks. The woodland walking trails through oak forest and mixed hardwoods and pine offer possibilities to see cuckoos, woodpeckers, flycatchers and thrushes, while the marsh and native grass meadows can produce Spotted and Solitary Sandpipers, Cedar Waxwings, Red-winged Blackbirds warblers and raptors. If you're not a hard-core birder or just want to take a break, this field trip provides some alternatives for an enjoyable outing. The grounds include formal gardens, a plant shop and the Reynolda House Museum of Art. The adjacent Reynolda Village has several shops and restaurants. Trails are well-maintained and fairly easy walking, although sections may be hilly.
Approximate Travel Time: 10 min.

If you want to see the birds, enjoy lunch at one of the restaurants and check out the gardens, plant shop and museum, sign up for a morning trip and stay all day. Just let the leader know and drive separately or carpool with someone whose schedule coincides with yours. There is a $14 fee for the Reynolda House Museum of Art and for house tours. Restrooms are available.

Trips 10, 20, 35, 45: Historic Bethabara Park (Half Day)

(NC Birding Trail–Northwest Piedmont Group, ebird hot spot) Birds flock to this unique setting. A National Landmark, this site is where the first group of Moravians settled in 1753. We can stroll through the original village with its palisade fence and numerous archeological excavations, but our primary focus will be the 20-mile system of nature trails that traverse a 183-acre wildlife preserve that includes a wetlands area with a boardwalk. Spring brings vireos, Blue Grosbeaks, a variety of warblers and both Summer and Scarlet Tanagers. Nesting species include Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, Brown Thrashers and Wood Thrush. We should also be on the look-out for Barred Owl, woodpeckers, thrushes, warblers, Tree Swallows, Wood Duck, Red-shouldered Hawk, herons and flycatchers. Trails are well-maintained and fairly easy walking.
Approximate Travel Time: 10 min.

For those interested, the Visitor Center offers a video about the settlement history, and the museum features a restored and furnished 1788 church, archaeological ruins, exhibits and tours with costumed guides, a reconstructed village, a French and Indian War fort and colonial and medical gardens and gift shop featuring hand-crafted Moravian items. The Visitor Center opens at 10:30 a.m. on Friday and 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, so sign up for the afternoon trip if this is your primary interest. Restrooms are not available Saturday morning when the Visitor Center is closed.

Trip 11: Miller Park & Archie Elledge Treatment Plant (Half Day)

(Miller Park is on NC Birding Trail–Northwest Piedmont Group, ebird hot spots) We will combine two venues for a nice variety of birds. The entire site of Archie Elledge Sewage Treatment Plant can be productive, including the fields and brush areas that attract Blue Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, and Song and Field Sparrows. A short drive will take us to a very different habitat at Miller Park, which is right in town and popular with birders and non-birders alike. The activity at the playgrounds, ball fields, tennis courts, picnic shelters and community center doesn't seem to bother the birds in the adjacent woods. The compact network of paved trails provides close views of birds in a mix of hardwoods, stands of pine, wildflowers and a living stream. Thrushes hop across the paths, and flycatchers, vireos, warblers, tanagers and orioles flit about the trees. There is a good chance of seeing nesting Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Barred Owls, Cooper's and Red-shouldered Hawks. Restrooms are available at Miller Park, but not at the treatment plant. Trails are well-maintained and fairly easy walking.
Approximate Travel Time: 10 min.

Trips 12, 36: Hamilton Lakes Park & Bog Garden (Half Day)

(Bog Garden is on NC Birding Trail–Central Piedmont Group, ebird hot spots) Hamilton Lakes Park is a 60-acre wooded park located in a Greensboro residential neighborhood and is one of the best places in Guilford county to see neotropical migrants in the spring. Nearly every warbler species in eastern North America has been seen here, along with woodpeckers, migrating thrushes and breeding raptors.

There are no public facilities in this privately owned park. Birders must be especially cautious about being good guests because parking is limited and it is heavily used by neighborhood residents.

The Bog Garden is a small wetland embedded in a residential section of Greensboro and features floodplain forest, lake and small wetland habitat traversed by a boardwalk. Mallard and Wood Duck are year-round residents. Spring migration attracts thrushes, flycatchers and wood warblers. Brown-headed Nuthatch and Eastern Screech Owl are known to nest here. If time permits, we may check out the Bicentennial Garden, a formal garden with paved and mulched walkways through shrubs, mature pines and open garden areas, just 100 yards north of the Bog Garden. Rest rooms will be available at gas stations and convenience stores near the sites. Trails are well-maintained and fairly easy walking.
Approximate Travel Time: 30 min.

Trip 13 Northeast Park/Baldwin-Sockwell Road (Half Day)

Located near Gibsonville, this 374-acre park offers a wide variety of outdoor experiences, including an aquatic center, hiking, biking and equestrian trails, athletic fields, picnic shelters, playgrounds and over 10 miles of trails. We will walk the Buffalo Creek Trail and on the Reedy Fork trail through bottomland forest and near the creek. Participants should expect to walk quite a lot. Sections of the trails are hilly; participants should wear sturdy walking shoes and bring drinking water. Restrooms in the park.
Approximate Travel Time: 50 min.

Trips 14, 22: Piedmont Environmental Center and Greenway (Half Day)

(NC Birding Trail–Central Piedmont Group, ebird hot spot) This 376-acre site features over 11 miles of trails that provide a variety of options for birders, including oak forest and mixed hardwoods / pine, early successional, small wetland and lake habitats. Species of interest include migrating warblers and other passerines, ducks, Eastern Whip-poor-will, Great Horned Owl and nesting Red-Headed Woodpecker. The Center is the southern terminus of the Guilford Country Bicentennial Greenway that provides additional birding opportunities. Restrooms are available at the main building. Trails are well-maintained and fairly easy walking, although there may be sections that are hilly.
Approximate Travel Time: 30 min.

Trips 21, 37: Civitan Park, Salem Creek Greenway & Salem Lake (Half Day)

(NC Birding Trail–Northwest Piedmont Group, ebird hot spot) Civitan Park and the Salem Creek Greenway comprise a restoration area with a greenway that runs parallel to and between a five-acre wetland and Salem Creek. This small city park is adjacent to Winston-Salem State University and is home to such species as Green Heron, Yellow Warbler, Blue Grosbeak, Red-winged Blackbird and Orchard Oriole, and supports a variety of spring migrants. It is the only known nesting site in the county for Willow Flycatchers and Warbling Vireos. This park also has a nice variety of wildflowers. If time permits, we will go by Salem Lake, a 365-acre reservoir that is Forsyth County's largest body of water, to look for lingering waterfowl. An unpaved trail encircles the entire lake. A few minutes here could net a few more songbird species since the shore is wooded and attracts migrants. Restrooms at Salem Lake marina. Trails are well-maintained and fairly easy walking.
Approximate Travel Time: 10 min.

Trip 23: Sanders Ridge Vineyard & Big Woods Restaurant (Half Day)

(NC Birding Trail–Northwest Piedmont Group, ebird hot spot) This trip is ideal for birders and non-birders alike. This 150-acre site set in the Yadkin County countryside has been in the same family for five generations. There are many good birding areas, including the open spaces in and around the 15-acre vineyard, as well as two woodland, marsh, lake and stream trails. We can expect to find a variety of species, including migrating passerines, woodpeckers, flycatchers, herons and Wood Duck. The grounds are known for the butterflies and wildflowers as well as birds. Trails are well-maintained and fairly easy walking.
Approximate Travel Time: 30 min.

Non-birders may enjoy taking a winery tour refining their palates by participating in a wine-tasting session. The Big Woods Restaurant serves dinner in a beautiful setting beginning at 5:30 PM, so you may want to consider having your Friday dinner here (reservations are required). Restrooms are available when the restaurant opens around midday.

Trips 38, 47: Price Park (Half Day)

(ebird hot spot) This 1.5 mile trail was created in 1997 and covers open pasture, creek, pond and hardwood forest habitats. With over 150 species identified, the area attracts migrating and breeding woodland songbirds, grassland birds, waterfowl such as herons and kingfishers and Red-tailed and Red-shouldered Hawks. The trail also features wildflowers. Restrooms in nearby gas stations and convenience stores. Trails are well-maintained and fairly easy walking.
Approximate Travel Time: 30 min.

Trips 39, 48: Chinqua-Penn Walking Trail (Half Day)

(NC Birding Trail–Rockingham County Group, ebird hot spot) This 1.5 mile trail was created in 1997 and covers open pasture, creek, pond and hardwood forest habitats. With over 150 species identified, the area attracts migrating and breeding woodland songbirds, grassland birds, waterfowl such as herons and kingfishers and Red-tailed and Red-shouldered Hawks. The trail also features wildflowers.
Approximate Travel Time: 45 min.

Trip 46: Washington Park & Salem Creek Greenway (Half Day)

(Greenway is on the NC Birding Trail–Northwest Piedmont Group, both are ebird hot spots) Washington Park is the largest neighborhood park in Winston-Salem and encompasses athletic fields, a dog park, a section of Salem Creek Greenway and trails through vast natural areas. This park provides an excellent place to inventory the migration. Driving or walking around the “upper park” is a good spot for Blackburnian, Bay-breasted, Blue-winged and Hooded Warblers, Scarlet Tanagers, Blue-headed Vireos, all five thrushes—just about anything can show up here. The trail along the creek can be good for Yellow Warblers, Yellow-breasted Chat and Yellow-crowned Night-Heron and maybe Acadian and Willow Flycatchers. Be prepared to walk on sidewalks and trails that are somewhat hilly, but not too strenuous. There is a Port-A-John at Washington Park.
Approximate Travel Time: 15 min.