Elizabeth A.S. Brooke

Crafting, traveling and everything in between.


More info on Beaver Dam Trail


A friend wrote and asked for more details about the Beaver Dam Trail, Hillsville, Va. This is the trail that Chris, Sidney and I frequent the most as it is in the middle of town.

The trail is about 2 miles long and runs from Beaver Dam Road to behind the Carroll County Governmental Complex on Pine Street. You can also continue your walk across Pine Street to stroll along Main Street and visit the downtown merchants.
Beginning at the Beaver Dam Road end of the trail, there is ample parking across the road from the trail head. The trail is mulch, so not that great for wheeled transportation such as bikes and wheelchairs.

The trail, unlike the other end of the trail which I’ll discuss next, is level and makes for a nice stroll along side the Beam Dam Creek, horse pastures and wooded lots.

If you are a nature lover, there are plenty of opportunities to see wildlife and plants. As mentioned in a previous post, Chris and I have spotted several type

s of birds, butterflies and plants. There have also been many sightings of deer, turkey and groundhogs. One Carroll County resident has also claimed he spotted a black bear a couple of years ago.

Among Chris and my favorite bird sights are king fishers, cedar waxwings, scarlet tanagers and blue herons.
There is an a

bundance of fritillary butterflies along the trail as well as whites and blues. Last summer was a wonderful year for yellow Eastern swallowtail. Once crossing one of the several red metal bridges that hang over the creek, we were surprised to see a knot of these yellow and black winged insects mudding, or soaking up nutrients, from the creek bank. You should have seen the butterflies fluttering around and crawling over each other. It was just beautiful!
Here is a picture of these butterflies mudding at a different location in the area earlier this year:
Plants include may apples, cardinal flowers, flame azaleas with gorgeous or
ange blooms, joe pye weed, rhododendron, sassafras trees (Chris’ favorite), ever
greens, cucumber trees and jewel weed.
Here is a picture of a flame azalea taken  earlier this year: 
After about a mile, the trail traverses the Hillsville Police Department and Carroll County Sheriff’s Department’s shooting range and former Hillsville Sewer Plant property. The old holding tanks for sewage are still standing and now serve as staging grounds for straw used by the town.
Curving around this open area, the trail then becomes gravel and steep. It curves up and around Magnolia, a manufacturing facility. The trail is closed off from the plant and a horse pasture with chain link fences.

Not much wildlife save for the horses, birds and pine trees in this area. But there is a bench at the top of the first hill to rest and catch your breath before climbing the next hill.

The next stop and over the second hill, you’ll find yourself behind the Carroll County Wellness Center, the town’s local gym. The trail winds around the edge of the parking lot and once again becomes paved. It headsup a grassy hill overlooking the wellness center and heads toward what’s known as the Carter Pines, a stand of trees that was planted in the 1930s, and the Carter Pines Community Park, which is basically a picnic shelter and a granite Community Honor Wall.

Cutting through the stand of white pines, walkers can see a 1924 hydraulic water ram system (listed on the National Register of Historic Places) and undergrowth that provides perfect shelter for birds. Alongside the water ram is a newly constructed deck for bird watchers to catch a glimpse of various winged creatures.

The trail begins a steep climb after leaving the Carter Pines. There’s a wet land area on the left and many blackberries and devil’s walk stick plants along the path. The trail comes to the back parking lot of the county governmental center and circles around to the left of the building and ends on the other side of Pine Street.


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Beaver Dam Trail and New River Trail at Pulaski

Hubby Chris, pup Sidney and I usually take our daily walk along the Beaver Dam Trail off of Beaver Dam Road, Hillsville, Va. A joint project of the town and Carroll County, the trail is a little over 2 miles long.

The town’s portion runs from Beaver Dam Road along the banks of the Beaver Dam Creek, woods and a couple of horse pastures. We frequently see wildlife, such as turkey, deer, groundhog, butterflies and birds. Among our favorite birds that visit the trail are king fishers, blue heron and cedar waxwings. Here is a swallowtail we saw today:

There’s also an abundant of flowers to enjoy, such as this cardinal flower I took earlier today:

You can also find lamb’s ear, may apples, jewel weed, joe pye weed and flame azalea among the many flora in the area.

But sometimes we all need a change of scenery, so we’ve been exploring areas we haven’t been to before or haven’t visited in awhile.

Among those have been the Pulaski end of the New River Trail State Park in Pulaski, Va., and Historic Bethabara Park in Winston-Salem, N.C.

The New River Trail is 39 miles and runs from Fries, Va., to Pulaski. There’s also a trail extension that runs to Galax, Va. visitors can bike, hike or ride horses on this trail that runs along the New River. It’s built on a former railroad track bed.

Historic Bethabara Park is a National Historic Landmark and is the 1753 site of Moravians, a German-speaking, Protestant settlement. The park offers 183-acres of wildlife preserve with 26 species of birds. Besides the 20 miles of trails, museum, reconstructed village, archaelogical ruins visitors can explore, the park offers a varieties of activities like yesterday’s Apple Festival.