Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary is a 0.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Asheville, North Carolina that features a lake and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.
Parking: In addition to the sanctuary lot, a few parking spots are available at the dam at the corner of Merrimon and Glen Falls. There are no restrooms. Hours are dawn to dusk, and the parking-lot gate opens and shuts on a timer. The best time for bird watching is late spring through June and late August through October. Birding Highlights: Brown-headed Nuthatch (unusual in the mountains) is often found at the sanctuary or nearby. Warbling Vireo and both orioles have regularly nested by the lake; if you don't find them in the sanctuary, walk the lake's edge toward the dam. Eastern Kingbirds sometimes put on great displays over the lake and adjoining field. In summer, swallows and Chimney Swifts often swoop low over the lake in early morning and evening. Yellow Warbler is common in breeding season. The mature white pines along Merrimon attract Yellow-throated Warbler. Blue-gray Gnatcatcher arrive for the breeding season in late March, and have been seen nesting over the boardwalk. Red-shouldered Hawks have nested in the neighborhood, and Cooper's Hawks have nested not far away. Swamp Sparrow is always a possibility in wet spots during winter and Savannah Sparrow can usually be observed in the weedy field along Merrimon Avenue in late winter.