This is the perfect place to enjoy nature’s changing autumn colors or perch yourself atop one of the many hills, but as you make your way through the 500 miles of scenic trails, take your time and look out for the wide variety of local birds.
The black-and-white warbler’s thin, squeaky song represents the beginning of spring. You can spot it by looking for a small bird striped with black and white feathers, nimbly creeping along tree trunks and branches, searching for insects or building a nest in a pile of leaf litter.
The white-breasted nuthatch might also be searching for insects and meaty seeds. It gets its name from its technique of jamming large nuts and acorns into tree bark and then poking at them with its sharp beak until they “hatch” open to release a seed. Check out its strokes of black, gray and white feathers. It’s small, but not hard to track down with its loud and nasal call.
Hanging out in the shrubs of the forest understory, you might find a hooded warbler — look out for its bright yellow body, black neck and head, and the thick stripe of yellow across its face.
Another bright yellow bird you’re likely to find here is the cedar waxwing. Its silky feathers fade from brown to cobalt blue to yellow at the tail, with red-tipped wings and a black mask. When searching, listen for a high-pitched and thin whistle call. In the fall, hundreds group together to gather berries. Don’t be surprised by its impressive aeronautic skills if you see one in the sky!
If you hear a loud rummaging from the undergrowth of the forest, don’t worry — it’s most likely a eastern towhee. Its movement is loud for its size, but it’s a very common bird identified by its deep black back and reddish-brown belly. They like to hang out in hidden spots, so you might only be able to catch a glimpse through the branches.