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Meat Camp Creek Environmental Studies Area


The Meat Camp Creek Environmental Studies Area is a private 9.5-acre tract open to the public for birding and nature study. Since record keeping began in 1999, over 170 species of birds have been recorded here. An approximately 0.75-mile grassy path winds its way through the wetlands. Boardwalks provide crossing for channels and saturated areas. The migration seasons can be especially rewarding here, as migrating songbirds, wading birds, and others regularly visit. For best light during a morning visit, walk the trail in a clockwise direction to keep the early sun at your back along the riparian corridor. Sparrow migration in October and November is especially good for Lincoln's Sparrow, as well as eight other sparrow species, including White-crowned, White-throated, Savannah, Swamp, Song and Vesper Sparrows. Summer breeding birds include both Least and Willow Flycatchers, Cedar Waxwing, Yellow Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Green Heron, and occasionally, Black-billed Cuckoo. Four species of Vireo (Red-eyed, Blue-headed, White-eyed, and Yellow-throated) have nested here. Both Black-billed and Yellow-billed Cuckoo regularly occur in August and September. This site also hosted a rare mountain nesting record for Virginia Rail in 2003. Virginia Rail, Sora and American Bittern are usually seen each spring in April.

Species of Interest (Full Bird List)

Black-billed Cuckoo, Least Flycatcher, Willow Flycatcher, Cedar Waxwing, Yellow Warbler, Lincoln?s Sparrow


early successional, river/stream, bog/wetlands

Access and Parking

The site is open daily during daylight hours


From the intersection of US 421 North and NC 194 North, east of Boone, proceed north on NC 194 for 2.7 miles to Castleford Road on the right. Go 1.7 miles to Appaloosa Trail on the left. At both of these turns, watch for small white signs for the Watauga Gun Club. Go 0.1 miles on Appaloosa Trail and cross Meat Camp Creek on a one-lane bridge. Take an immediate left into the grassy parking area.

Google Directions

Delorme Gazetteer Page


Bird List

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