Adventure Us: Pandapas Pond
If your family is seeking to get away from the busy routine for a few hours and enjoy outdoor beauty and spring weather for free, Pandapas Pond might be the place for you.
Beloved by fishermen, families, and college students alike, Pandapas Pond Day Use Area is nestled within the Jefferson National Forest a few miles west of Blacksburg on Route 460. The mile of level, easy trails and boardwalk around and over the pond are suitable for families of all ages; the area is also handicapped accessible. Beautiful in all seasons, the 8 acre pond holds special enjoyment for nature lovers in the spring. The pond and adjacent marsh are a haven for all kinds of wetland creatures: nesting waterfowl (look for ducklings in the spring!), migrating birds, turtles, frogs, and salamanders. Signs of beaver, raccoons, and deer can also be seen. One of our sons spent 15 minutes carefully scanning the marsh grasses for the elusive (but noisy) spring peepers. The pond is also stocked with trout, and a great place to celebrate Kid Fishing Day, the first Saturday in May, which features prizes for the best young aspiring fishermen.
Beyond the pond, several trails wind through the surrounding woods and hold treasures of their own. Our boys enjoyed following one of the creeks that feeds the pond and exploring the rhododendron thickets. Near the creek we came upon a bed of shale rock rife with fossils (another one of our kids’ favorite things to hunt). The woodland trails connect to the nearby Poverty Creek Trail, a 17 mile multi-use trail system that is a favorite for horseback riding and mountain biking. (The first parking lot after the entrance is intended for bikers and equestrians using the Poverty Creek Trail, while the second one is reserved for those enjoying the pond.)
At 2200 feet of elevation, Pandapas Pond sits on the Eastern Continental Divide; waters to the east flow to the Atlantic coast, while waters to the west find their way (via the New River) to the Ohio, and finally the Mississippi River.
The pond area can be crowded on weekends, particularly in good weather; going on a weekday afternoon can provide a little more solitude. There are picnic areas around the pond, although the restrooms are currently closed.
Enjoy the arrival of warm weather and a bounty of spring wildlife with a day trip to Pandapas Pond!
Name: Pandapas Pond Day Use Area, 4171 Pandapas Pond Rd, Blacksburg, VA 24060
Time from Roanoke: <1 hour
Activity Options: Hiking, picnicking, bird and wildlife watching, fishing, biking, horseback riding
Nearby Food: Many options in downtown Blacksburg
Nearby Attractions: Cascades waterfall hike, Mountain Lake Resort
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