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Flowing Springs Park (SP,S,F,W)
General Description. Flowing Springs Park in Ranson, West Virginia, consists of 30 acres of un-mowed fields and shrubby areas surrounding a lush spring and tree-lined stream. Busy route 9 and the Home Depot parking lot border the park. There are plans to surround the park with more residential development in the future. The Potomac Valley Audubon Society (PVAS) is working with the City of Ranson to create a small natural park that will protect the watershed, preserve bird habitat, and provide nature study opportunities. A gravel road starts near the sewage pumping station on Flowing Springs Road, and a few mowed trails provide access to the stream. An accessible trail, in compliance with ADA guidelines, will be built in the future.
Seasonal Variations in Birding. In spring and summer, Baltimore Oriole, Orchard Oriole, and Warbling Vireo can be found in the big Sycamore trees along the stream banks. Green Heron and Great Blue Heron hunt along the stream. Willow Flycatcher, Field Sparrow, Yellow Warbler, and Northern Mockingbird call from the trees that dot the meadows. Brown Thrasher, Eastern Towhee, and Gray Catbird inhabit the shrubs. Various swallows hunt over the fields and streams. The meadow provides a wide view of the sky. In all seasons, Common Raven and a variety of raptors fly over. In migration, a few shorebirds may be seen near the spring and the containment pond near the Home Depot parking lot. In winter, check the stream and the spring areas for waterfowl and Wilson’s Snipe, and the fencerows for sparrows.
Directions. From Route 9 near Ranson, take Flowing Springs Road (County Route 17) north about half a mile. Cross the railroad tracks and stream, and then turn left at the gravel road entrance to the sewage pumping station. You may park here, but do not block the gate into the pumping station. From here you will have a fairly level walk along the stream. Alternately, you may park in the Home Depot parking lot at the intersection of route 9 and Oak Lee Drive. Walk down the steep hill near the containment pond and follow the gravel road into the park.