Birding and Wildlife Trails in Buchanan County

Wild Buchanan is home to some of the most breathtaking sunrises and sunsets you will find anywhere. We also have a large variety of wildlife, florals and birds! Among the wildlife are herds of Elk. 

The elk population was restored starting in 2010 when the reintroduction of elk into Buchanan County started after an almost 100-year absence. Elk were historically found throughout eastern North America, but habitat loss and unregulated hunting caused elk to become virtually extinct within eastern North America by the late 1800’s. Attempts at elk restoration in eastern states during the early to mid-1900s often failed due to a lack of suitable habitat and knowledge of elk ecology.

Buchanan County hosts three sites along the Wildlife and Birding Trail System with six adjoining sites in neighboring Dickenson County. The trails are a part of the 340 sites with 34 loops that make up the Mountain Area of the state’s SW Virginia trail system. The trails in Buchanan County consist of Compton Mountain/Horn Mountain, Poplar Gap/Sunset Hollow and the Breaks Interstate Park which is shared with Dickenson County. These sites are part of the Lonesome Pine Loop. Each site provides mountaintop birding year round as well as Spring and Fall Migrants. These sites and the area between each are prime locations for migrating warblers as well as many other species.