For over one hundred years the Clarkton Bridge has spanned the Staunton
River between Charlotte and Halifax counties. These iron beams were
originally sent down from the Virginia Bridge and Iron Company in
and assembled on site into a bridge design known as a camelback truss.
that time, the bridge has weathered numerous floods and stood its
welcoming smaller and smaller loads on its support.
the bridge was closed to vehicular traffic, and for a time condemned for
demolition. Concerned citizens from Charlotte and Halifax counties made
stand and the bridge was given a reprieve.
Now residents may go down to the river at the boat landing or walk onto
bridge itself to enjoy fishing, launching small boats and canoes,
for bird and wildlife watching.
Along the banks of the
Staunton River, visitors should search for eastern river cooters sunning
themselves on exposed rocks near the bank. Keep an eye overhead for
cruising downstream. In summer, green herons can be seen hunting tiny
along the riverbanks, while stately great blue herons appear from time
time. The tall trees along the river bank support red-eyed and yellow-throated vireos. Red-bellied, and occasionally pileated
call from deeper in the woods, allowing themselves to be seen as they
the open water.
The sun-dappled banks of the river host clouds of
butterflies in late summer, with dozens of similar question marks and
perching side-by-side for easy comparison. Watch your footing as
purples and black swallowtails sip from mineral rich puddles and dozens
eastern-tailed blues scatter at every step.
Description and directions (below) taken from the
Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail