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Mountain Gateway Museum


The Museum and grounds provide not only an attractive urban birding site, but also interesting historical materials and exhibits of the mountain region for the history enthusiast. The site is located along Mill Creek, a feeder stream of the Catawba River, and is bordered by both lawn and mature fruit- and seedbearing trees and vines, which provide an abundance of food and cover for birds. From the Museum, walk a short distance along the stream to the amphitheater, where the stone benches provide a nice place to sit and enjoy the bird activity in the trees and vines. In the summer, when berries are ripe, watch for both mature and immature Cedar Waxwing, American Goldfinch and others enjoying the seasonal harvest. Eastern Phoebe can be seen foraging over the stream and Chipping Sparrow often search the ground for insects. Continue across the footbridge for a better view downstream of the vine covered edges and the rocky stream bed, and scan the edges of the mowed grounds. During the spring and fall migration, birding surprises might be found in this small, pleasant urban park for the careful observer who is willing to linger

Species of Interest (Full Bird List)

Eastern Phoebe, Cedar Waxwing, Scarlet Tanager, Baltimore Oriole


floodplain forest, early successional, river/stream

Access and Parking

The Museum grounds are open for birding during daylight hours. The Museum is open noon to 5pm, Monday; 9am to 5pm, Tuesday - Saturday; 2pm to 5pm, Sunday.


From I-40, take Exit 73 for Old Fort. At the end of the exit ramp, turn north on Catawba Avenue, toward historic downtown. In 0.3 miles turn right on Water Street at the Mountain Gateway Museum sign. Parking is on the right.

Google Directions

Delorme Gazetteer Page

32, 54

Bird List

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