Van Swamp Game Land consists largely of hardwood swamp forest and dense shrubland habitats that are virtually impenetrable on foot. The birding opportunities here are therefore limited to the roads that traverse the property. Listen for Black-throated Green Warbler, Swainson's Warbler and other migrating and breeding birds associated with swamp forest. Begin along Church Road, at the southern end of the property. Turn north on Pocosin Boulevard for 2 miles, then west on Hollis Loop Road. This road (which becomes Turkey Lane Road) ends at Railroad Road, which then heads northwest for 0.5 miles until its terminus at Hollis Road. Turn right on Hollis Road and follow it back out to NC 32. Thinned pine stands along Hollis Road, on the north side of the property, offer opportunities to bird in more open habitat. Listen for Northern Bobwhite, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Pine Warbler and other birds of pine woodlands.
Species of Interest (Full Bird List)
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Brown-headed Nuthatch, Black-throated Green Warbler, Swainson?s Warbler
pine/hardwood forest, moist shrubland, early successional
Hunting is allowed on Game Lands during certain times of year. Birders should be aware of current hunting regulations and seasons and take adequate safety precautions during those times. For more on hunting season safety precautions, see the hunting season information at the beginning of this guide.
Access and Parking
It is highly recommended that visitors request a current Game Lands Map Book from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission before visiting. Vehicle access to roads may vary seasonally; the roads are closed March 1 - September 1. There are no designated parking areas on Van Swamp Game Land. Visitors can park on roadsides but should be aware of conditions and stay on roads that are in passable condition. Road conditions can vary greatly depending on the amount of recent rainfall and use on the Game Lands.
From Washington, take US 264 east for just over 6 miles. Turn north on NC 32 and travel for just under 17 miles. Turn left on Church Road just before Long Acre Church to access the Game Land.
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