Be among the first to register for a new Reader Rendezvous.

Would you like to sharpen your fall warbler ID skills, spend time hiking and birding in the beautiful New River Gorge area of West Virginia, and enjoy a relaxing time with great folks in late September? This tour is for you!

Our friends at the New River Birding & Nature Festival are teaming up with the Bird Watcher’s Digest Reader Rendezvous team to present a brand-new New River experience—Falling for New River! This divergent and different birding adventure in the New River Gorge region of West Virginia will be a brand-new tour with brand-new lodging, brand-new birding sites, and a brand-new home base during a brand-new migration season—fall. In fact, you’ll see the New River region of West Virginia through brand-new eyes as we enjoy fall birding, wildlife, great meals, and superior lodging at the state-of-the-art Summit Bechtel Reserve National Scout Camp. This wonderful reserve is not open to the public and is probably the best-kept event-destination secret in the country!

Katie Fallon

The Falling for New River Reader Rendezvous will feature beloved BWD columnist and native West Virginian Katie Fallon—popular birding speaker, guide, raptor rehab specialist, and author of Vulture: The Private Life of an Unloved Bird, and Cerulean Blues: A Personal Search for a Vanishing Songbird. Our local guide for this tour will be Keith Richardson, resident New River Gorge birder, naturalist, and beloved New River Birding & Nature Festival co-coordinator and guide. Hosted by Wendy Clark and Jessica Melfi of Bird Watcher’s Digest and Geoff Heeter of the New River Birding & Nature Festival, our tour group will enjoy “Fab 5” days of birding with these “Fab 5” leaders who are sure to show you great birds and a great time, too.

Keith Richardson

Boasting more than 11,000 wild and wonderful acres, the Summit Bechtel Reserve will be teeming with fall wood-warblers in late September, and we could see 20+ fall warbler species during this tour. We will also see an array of woodpeckers, owls, raptors, shorebirds, sparrows, waders, waterfowl, blackbirds, mimids, and more.

Each day will be spent birding and exploring different parts of the 11,000+ acre reserve with varying bird habitats, including lush wooded areas, prairies, highlands, lakes, brushy hedges, tree canopies, and epic ridge areas tailor-made for raptor watching. The Summit Bechtel Reserve is truly a haven for nature lovers with miles and miles of wild West-Virginian wilderness to traverse.

New River Gorge photo by F.A. Martin / Wikimedia.

We will enjoy delicious meals and fellowship each evening, birding presentations, and cozy accommodations in a brand-new hotel conference facility at the reserve. This is an all-inclusive birding tour with all lodging, meals, transportation, and fees included.

Would you like to sharpen your fall warbler ID skills, spend time hiking and birding in the beautiful New River Gorge area of West Virginia, and enjoy a relaxing time with great folks in late September? Then this tour is for you! We hope to see you Falling for New River with us on September 22–26, 2021!

MUST HAVE PROOF OF COVID-19 VACCINATION TO ATTEND.