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Along the Staunton River: Where Nature Thrives

From its headwaters in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Roanoke River winds its way through Virginia’s Piedmont through North Carolina on to the Albemarle Sound.
On the banks of this river is where you will find
Staunton River Battlefield State Park, our park of the month for June.

This section of the Roanoke River is known as the "Staunton"

This section of the Roanoke River is known as the "Staunton"

The section of the Roanoke River that flows through this part of Southern Virginia is known as the "Staunton." According to historical accounts, Captain Henry Staunton, a Revolutionary soldier, was highly regarded for his role in protecting the early settlers.Hence the river began to be known “Captain Staunton’s River” and the name stuck.

An abundance of wildlife thrives here in the largest wetland west of the Tidewater.

An abundance of wildlife thrives here in the largest wetland west of the Tidewater.

During the early nineteenth century, steamboats traveled along the Staunton River here in Southern Virginia, loaded with their cargo of tobacco and other goods. Years before that, archeological research has revealed the site of a permanent Native American settlement here on what most likely was an island in the river. Here the inhabitants found an abundance of fish and other wildlife to sustain them.

The Battlefield Trail features a butterfly garden.

The Battlefield Trail features a butterfly garden.

Today, the park offers two trails for hiking. The Battlefield Trail is an easy, paved 1.2 mile rail-to-trail that takes walkers across the historic Staunton River Bridge. The park has established a butterfly garden along the trail, and has been listed as a Certified Monarch Waystation.

Butterflies and other pollinators are attracted to the many flowers.

Butterflies and other pollinators are attracted to the many flowers.

The Edgewood Nature Trail is a .75-mile hike through the woods. The Edgewood Trail features two wildlife observation towers that overlook part of the largest developed wetland area west of the Tidewater region. Here observant visitors may spot wood ducks, herons, egrets, turtles and many other species.

Park staff and volunteers created a nature play area with natural materials.

Park staff and volunteers created a nature play area with natural materials.

Last year, volunteers and park staff created a nature play area. This is a space where kids of all ages can enjoy the outdoors with play stations created from all natural materials. During the summer months, guided hikes and canoe trips on the river are popular activities here. Staunton River Battlefield State Park provides a many ways for visitors to experience the natural world.

LOCATION: Staunton river Battlefield State Park is located in Halifax and Charlotte counties, about 20 miles from South Boston. Click here for a Google map.

Come and visit – it’s a beautiful place to spend an hour or a day!


Published: 06/17/2014


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