Horizons Park

Horizons County Park is a large park that features a nice picnic area, disc golf and a dog park. Take US 52 North to the Germanton exit (Route 8), turn left and follow Route 8 north for 4.6 miles to yellow blinkers at Memorial Industrial School Road and the Horizons Park sign. Turn right, and the park entrance is one mile ahead on your right. Our Audubon Society has experimented with planting here for wildlife habitat and at one time installed about 100 nest boxes.

Cedar Waxwings
Photo by Doug Deneve
Downy Woodpecker
Photo by Jean Chamberlain

As you approach the entrance, check blackbird flocks for Rusty or Brewer’s during migration and watch for large numbers of Eastern Bluebirds and Cedar Waxwings. The crow flocks can be the largest in the county. Park and walk back along the fence to the brush for sparrows and for migrating warblers in the red cedars, but first check the big trees for Hairy Woodpecker. From November 2011 through early May 2012, a pair of Red-headed Woodpeckers often were seen around the disc golf course or in the picnic area.

Facing the barn from the parking lot, off to the right is a brushy ravine good for thrushes, and it leads down to the main stream and private property. Behind the barn, which is a Phoebe haunt, is a large field to the right with a lengthy edge to check. Also watch for resident Red-shouldered Hawk. Back to the left are the restrooms (portable in parking lot in winter) and the beginning of the trail that will wind through the woods and along a creek.

The creek trail can be two miles or longer. You will pass through bottomlands, beech bluffs and brush. You will see many birds, but not too many birders.
Across Memorial Industrial School Road and next to the dog run, find access to mountain bike trails that weave through woodland. This also may be a good place to see birds, perhaps even Wild Turkey, but give bikers the right of way.