The Top 10 Birding Trails in North America

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Elegant trogans can be spotted on the Southeastern Arizona Birding Trail
Image by Kristofer Drozd via Flickr.

The United States of America has dramatically varied landscapes. From the heavily forested north to the parched dry deserts of the south, these unique habitats create exciting opportunities for bird watchers.

There are numerous birding trails across America, however choosing which one to head out on can be daunting. Each state has a variety of interesting trails, with many offering the chance to see rare or state-specific birds.

Whether you are a resident of the USA, or are on holiday there, one of the easiest ways to find the best birding trails in your area is to search for ‘birding trails near me’, or to speak to your local parks department.

For the best trails in North America however, continue reading to find the top 10 best birding trails in the country. 

1. Colonial Coast Birding Trail, Georgia

One of the best trails for bird watching in North America is the Colonial Coast Birding Trail in Georgia.

Along the trail it is possible to see around 300 species of birds across its numerous sites.

The birds found along the Colonial Coast Birding Trail are often migratory, giving you a great deal of variety throughout the year. 

When walking along look out for bald eagles, sanderlings and endangered wood storks. 

2. Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail, Virginia

Visit Piedmont region for indigo buntings
Image by Jerry Ting via Flickr.

Take on one of Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail’s 65 loop walks to see some of the most impressive wildlife in this state.

The birdwatching walks here offer an excellent opportunity to see some of the areas 400-plus species of birds, as well as a range of mammals, amphibians and insects.

Take on one of the mountain trails for opportunities to see warblers, owls and migrating hawks.

Visit Piedmont region for wild turkeys, indigo buntings and meadowlarks.

Spend some time in the coastal region to see bald eagles, shorebirds and flocks of migrating songbirds. 

3. The Great Florida Birding Trail, Florida

The Great Florida Birding Trail is one of the best places in Northern America for birding as there are more than 500 birding trails available. 

There are a number of wild areas along the route including North Jupiter Woods and the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Outstanding Natural Area where warblers and waders make their home.

There are also many wildlife sanctuaries, parks and wetlands filled with snowy egrets, spoonbills and belted kingfishers. 

4. Pine to Prairie Birding Trail, Minnesota

One of the most extensive trails on this list is the Pine to Prairie Birding Trail in Minnesota.

This follows a 200 mile (321.87 kilometres) of land in Minnesota, before crossing the order into Canada and taking on another 300 miles (482.8 kilometres).

Along this route in Minnesota are 51 designated sites to watch birds set within outstandingly beautiful surroundings.

During your time on the Pine to Prairie, you may see some rare and unique species including Northern Goshawk, Greater Prairie-Chicken and Snowy Owls. 

5. Creole Nature Trail, Louisiana

Roseate spoonbills can be found on the Creole Nature trail
Image by David B. Adams via Flickr.

Creole Nature trail is another excellent destination for birdwatching. 

The trail spans 180 miles (289.68 kilometres) and winds its way through Louisiana’s outback region.

Here you may find beautiful birds from 400 species including raptors, wading birds and the distinctive rose-pink Roseate Spoonbill. 

Spend some time in the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge to head out onto the marsh itself for a better chance to see many of the marsh birds in their natural habitats.

This trail is also one of the best in North America for families thanks to its accessible nature, extensive picnic areas and education opportunities for children to learn more about wildlife.

6. The Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail, Texas

The Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail is a popular birdwatching destination in this southern state.

The trail is consists of popular and well-known sites sitting alongside hidden gems, allowing you the best opportunities to see rare and interesting species.

The Great Texas Coastal route features 11 different hiking loops taking in popular areas frequented by migratory birds, as well as those who live in the state year round.

Venture along the Texan Loop for a chance to see the Tufted Titmouse, Wood Ducks and Red-shouldered Hawk.

7. Central Coast Birding Trail, Central California

Yellow-rumped warbler, a bird to spot along the Central Coast Birding Trail.
Image by Jim Moodie via Flickr.

Enjoy sunshine and birding in equal measure along the Central Coast Birding Trail in sunny California.

The trail here offers up the chance to see red-tailed hawks and yellow-rumped warblers, along with cormorants and plenty of gulls along the coastal tracks. 

The landscape varies, from rugged coastal cliffs to thick woodland and dry canyons, offering plenty of habitats for a variety of species. 

8. Lake Champlain Birding Trail, New York and Vermont

Spanning 300 miles (482.8 kilometres) of both New York and Vermont, with 88 designated birdwatching sites, the Lake Champlain Birding Trail is also an excellent destination.

The trail spans the shoreline of Lake Champlain and offers visitors many opportunities to see some unique species.

You may find migrating ring-necked ducks and hooded mergansers.

In summer look out for bohemian waxwings and rough-legged hawks.

9. Southeastern Arizona Birding Trail, Arizona

50 of the best birdwatching walks in Arizona can be found along the Southeastern Arizona Birding Trail

The area is full of life during the summer months as birds such as elegant trogons and hummingbirds seek the warmer temperatures of the state.

Despite this boom in activity during summer, the winter also brings many species to this birdwatching route.

Admire colourful American goldfinch and the vibrant northern cardinal, or seek out the Common Poorwills and mourning doves. 

10. Osamequin Nature Trails and Bird Sanctuary, Rhode Island

Spot black-capped chickadees on the Osamequin Nature Trails and Bird Sanctuary, Rhode Island.
Image by Jerry Ting via Flickr.

Enjoy birding in Rhode Island at Osamequin Nature Trails and Bird Sanctuary. 

The trail winds from the western shore of Barrington River and its Hundred Acre Cove. 

There are 50 important coastal marshes along the way that provide vital habitats for a range of species of birds.

Look out for a wide variety of birds including tree swallows in spring, Canada goose, and black-capped chickadees. 

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