Bristol Bird Club – Birding Spots
This is a copy from the .org site
Musicks Campground-From Bristol follow US 421 toward Shady Valley and Mountain City. Take a left on SR 44 and proceed until you cross into Virginia, take the first right as you enter Virginia and proceed until you hit a sweeping curve to right. Instead of following the curve, go into the driveway that goes straight ahead. This is the entrance to the campground. Proceed slowly to the sign-in box. You are required to sign-in. The owner Mae Musick, is a member of the Bristol Bird Club. After signing-in proceed to the lake and enjoy the birds.
Most of the lake in front of you is in Tennessee, but the creek to your left is all in Virginia, as is the lake to its left. So you can sometimes get a bird in both states. Some rarties have been sighted here and there are some great winter residents. This will vary with the seasons.
In winter, look for Eared and Horned Grebes. A Sabines Gull was spotted here in 2004.
Hidden Valley-From I-81 take exit 14 and proceed north on US Hwy 19, it is about 8 miles to Hidden Valley Rd. on your right. You will see the brown signs. Follow Hidden Valley Rd, it is very steep and curvy. As you top out the hill, there is a parking lot on the left. The lake is straight ahead and has several access areas. Before you get to the lake, there is an old road, now blocked off, that is excellent in the spring for migrants. At the hill top if you turn right, you can proceed to a large open area near the FAA antenna. This is also good for migrants. It is also great for Hawk migration in the fall. Look for Ruffed Grouse anywhere in the area.
Mendota Fire Tower-From Bristol take US 58/421 towards Gate City (North/West) from Exit 1, I-81. After about 11 miles, you will cross an old iron bridge. Turn right on 615 towards Mendota. This is a paved, but very narrow road, so drive carefully. After about 6 miles, you cross the North Fork of the Holston. Take a left on 614, then right just a short distance on 802 at Mendota. Go thru Mendota pass the Community Center (old school) for less than a mile. Turn left on Pinnacle Road up the Clinch Mountain. This becomes a dirt road. Follow to the top of the mountain (about 3 miles). Near the top you will pass an old rutted out road on the right which goes to the tower. Park nearby and walk up this road to the watch area. Be sure to lock your vehicle and do not leave valuables exposed.
From Abingdon, VA: Take US 19/58 North and cross the North Fork of the Holston. Turn left on route 802 and follow for about 18 miles. As you near Mendota watch for Pinnacle Road on your right. Turn right and follow directions as above.
From Kingsport and Northeast TN: Take I-181/US 23 North pass Kingsport to Weber City, VA. In Weber City, turn right on US 58-421 East and drive about 5 miles to Hiltons, VA. Turn left on 709, then right on 614 (towards the Carter’s Fold). Drive about 11 miles to Mendota. Go straight ahead when 614 goes right. The route becomes 802 as you start through Mendota. After you pass the Community Center, watch for the Pinnacle Road on your left. Follow this to the top as described above.