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Buffalo Mountain  

Buffalo Mountain Natural Area Preserve

Widely recognized as one of Virginia's greatest natural heritage treasures, Buffalo Mountain Natural Area Preserve is a place like no other. Enjoy a half-mile hike up the scenic monadnock. Enjoy panoramic views of 50 miles on a clear day. Buffalo Mountain, named for its shape, boasts many rare plant and animal occurences. The combination of high-elevation (3,971 feet), wind-exposed openings at the summit, and magnesium rich soils create the uniqueness. On the treeless summit lives subalpine vegetation reminiscent of the Rocky Mountain. The south face of the mountain contains grassy, prairie-like openings composed of wildflowers and native warm-season grasses more typical to the Midwest. The base of the mountain supports globally rare grasses and wildflowers such as bog bluegrass and large-leaved grass-of-parnassus.

Moles Road SW
Willis, Virginia 24380
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Hiking  Birding  Picnic Areas

Bottoms Creek  

Bottom Creek Gorge

Forming the headwaters of the Roanoke River, Bottom Creek Gorge boasts spectacular scenery: the second highest waterfall in Virginia, virgin hemlocks and hundreds of wildflowers. Bottom Creek is a powerful mountain stream that forms a stair-step series of broad-basin waterfalls known as the "kettles." One of the headwater streams of the South Fork of the Roanoke River, Bottom Creek boasts a 200-foot high waterfall. Flanking Bottom Creek are forests of mixed hardwoods (tulip poplar, maple, oak, hickory) and upland meadows. Five rare species thrive in this habitat.
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 Hiking  Birding 

Falls Ridge Preserve  

Falls Ridge Preserve

Part of a steep, rugged ridge that rises from the valley of the North Fork of the Roanoke River, Falls Ridge Preserve boasts a spring-fed travertine waterfall approximately 80 feet in height. The rocks in the travertine falls watershed grew steadily, as minerals and lime dissolved in the water precipitate upon them. Over thousands of years, the build-up of calcium carbonate steepened the stream's gradient and slowly created both the waterfall and one of the largest-known exposed travertine deposits. Large sinkholes on part of the land also indicate the existence of underlying caverns which have never been explored.
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  Hiking  Birding