Main | Glenn C. Hilton, Jr. Memorial Park »

Mount Ida Nature Preserve


This 35-acre nature preserve is located near the heart of Marion, yet it provides a nice retreat from the bustle of city life. As the moderate to difficult 2-mile trail climbs in elevation, it affords sweeping views of Marion's historic downtown. From the summit, visitors can see Mt. Mitchell and the Blue Ridge mountains to the north. From the parking area, the trail first traverses a power line right-of-way for a short distance. This area provides early successional habitat where you might hear and see Indigo Bunting, Carolina Wren and other songbirds. Hawks may also be seen perched on the power lines or soaring overhead. Continuing on, the trail makes use of old logging roads as it climbs toward the summit through the forest of oaks, mixed hardwoods and pine. Along the way, birders should watch and listen for woodpeckers and other forest dwelling species. In migration, a variety of warblers may also be seen and heard.

Species of Interest (Full Bird List)

Worm-eating Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Scarlet Tanager


early successional, oak forest & mixed hardwoods/pine

Access and Parking

The preserve is open daily during daylight hours. Park at the trailhead in the designated parking area.


From I-40, take Exit 86. At the end of the exit ramp, turn north on US 226. Drive approximately 1 mile to the intersection of US 221/US 226/Rutherford Road. Turn right on US 221 Business/Rutherford Road toward Marion. Drive 0.8 miles and turn left on Young's Creek Drive. This gravel drive will cross a small creek in a short distance. Take the first right turn after the creek to reach the trailhead and designated parking.

Google Directions

Delorme Gazetteer Page


Bird List

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