Park: Dutch Gap Conservation Area
Location: The two observation decks along the entrance road (Henricus Park Road)
Time: Take at least 20 minutes at each observation deck to observe wildlife. Bring some snacks or a lunch and stay longer.
Distance: No hiking involved. Just park your car in the pull-off and walk across the road. The observation decks are an ideal location to view wildlife for those will mobility challenges.
Equipment: Bring binoculars or spotting scope to view wildlife and a camera to capture some great images.
What to Explore: Did you know that the Dutch Gap Conservation Area is part of the (VBWT) Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail? The wetland, which teems with wildlife, makes the conservation area an ideal site for the VBWT.
From mid-November to about mid-March, dozens of species of waterfowl settle into the wetland. Ring-necked ducks, gadwalls and wigeons are just some of the species that feed and dabble in the wetland.
Other bird species can include great blue herons, bald eagles, great egrets, red-winged blackbirds and barred owls.
But birds aren’t the only wildlife that visit or live in the wetland. Beavers, spotted and painted turtles, green frogs, northern watersnakes, river otters and muskrats can be observed too.