Five Species to Look for on the Trails in June

June 10, 2024

Whether you’re taking a leisurely walk or grinding the dirt on a mountain bike, there’s plenty to explore on the seven-plus miles of trails on and around the Tides Inn property. If you’re out and about in June, you’re likely to see these five species: 

Box Turtles

These cute reptiles have dome-shaped upper shells and are only about five- to  six-inches long. They generally have brown shells with yellow markings (though their  appearance can vary). They live entirely on land. “They’re terrestrial turtles,” explains  resident horticulturist Matt Little. “They have a very small home range. They only live on  about one or two acres of land their entire lives.” But that lifespan can extend up to 20  years. The turtles are most active in late spring and early summer before the heat really lands.  

See them: Your best chance of catching a glimpse is along the Forest Trail and in the meadows and vegetable garden. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch one strolling across the front lawn!  


The Tides Inn sits in a migratory path, meaning lots of birds make their way through the  area depending on the time of year. (Little counted more than 55 species over the last  year!) Around this time of year, young bluebirds begin emerging from their nests, which  can be found in the on-site vineyard and the birdhouses in the vegetable garden. Little  says the animals are particularly helpful when it comes to eating pests that disturb the  garden.  

See them: During his Garden and Birdwatching tours, Little takes guests to check on the nests and count the babies.  


Bambi is alive and well in Eastern forests. Deer regularly wander through the Tides  Inn property. Though they’re year-round residents, spring is the best time of year to view fawns.  

See them: Hang out near the vegetable garden. These rascals like to try and nibble  on Little’s plantings.  

Honey Bees

National Honey Bee Day may not take place until August, but we celebrate this critical pollinator all year long. We host a number of hives on property, and the main honey harvest occurs in May or June, once the weather gets above 60 degrees.   

See them: Our pollinator garden is in full bloom, so you can hear them buzzing as you walk through the front doors. The Bee Meadow, reachable via the Forest Trail, is an obvious hot spot. Get up-close to the creatures during our Little-led Beehive Experience.  

Mountain Laurel

An evergreen shrub, mountain laurel is most beautiful—and easiest to identify–in May and June when it blooms with fragrant clusters of white and pink flowers.  

See it: Walk or bike along the Forest Trail. A grove of mountain laurel lines the route. At  one point, you’ll likely have to duck under an arch of laurel limbs that like to grow over  the walking path.


When you return, let us know how many you spotted! Better yet: Take a photo and share it on Instagram (tag @tidesinn) or Facebook (tag @tidesinnvirginia).