There are so many reasons people come to the area of Roanoke. Some come for adventure and excitement in any number of outdoor activities. Others also want to enjoy nature, but at a more peaceful pace. For these folks, casual hiking, bird or wildlife watching, and canoe trips can be a lot of fun. Still others look to relax in the budding metro area with a diverse dining scene, several local breweries, a growing downtown with shops, and the town of Grandin.
Virginia’s Blue Ridge
The historic and beautiful mountains, along with the rises and dips in elevation, make Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains a favorite of not only hikers and cyclists, but drivers as well. The scenic views and fresh mountain air help to revive the body and mind. For many people, retreats to this area are a multiple-times-a-year “must”.
The entire range, known officially as the Blue Ridge Parkway, is nearly 470 miles long and stretches from Virginia to North Carolina. There are numerous mile markers and landmarks for travelers, as well as historic buildings and structures, waterfalls, and walking trails along the way. This is why it’s so popular with all types of travel. You can make your hike as short or as far as you’d like and you’re sure to run into an incredible view or historical site.
The Appalachian Trail is quite possibly America’s favorite hiking region. Not only that, but there are countless other hikes within a short driving distance that can challenge and satisfy any skill or interest level in hiking. Overnight hikes, as well as some that offer fishing and other activities, are available as well.
To truly get the full Blue Ridge experience, however, you have to dedicate yourself to different modes of exploration. To see all this region has to offer, you need to do some climbing, biking, and paddling in addition to hiking. There are also lakes which have hundreds of miles of shoreline, as well as fantastic ATV and off-road vehicle trails. This area is also the mountain and street biking capital of the eastern United States.
Parks and Wildlife Near Roanoke
The outdoor activities available in this region, particularly the parks and wildlife near Roanoke, are simply too numerous to list or go over one by one. To give you an idea of the various options you have when it comes to entertainment and relaxation in nature, here are some examples:
- Fairy Stone State Park
- Clayton Lake State Park
- Smith Mountain Lake State Park
- Douthat State Park
- New River Trail State Park
- Natural Bridge State Park
These parks offer hiking and camping options to suit every skill level of outdoor enthusiast. Many of the trails have structures available to use for cover or shelter when camping overnight. There are often restrooms and other amenities available as well.
The wildlife adventures you can have all depend on what you prefer. You can go fishing if you are looking for sport, or you can simply go birding and animal watching if you just want to get a glimpse of nature. Horseback riding through various trails and local zoos are other attractions for animal lovers as well.
One thing is certain – you’re sure to love your time in Roanoke and create memories that last a lifetime.