Northwest of town lies a low-key spot of woodland beauty that is also steeped in history. Hanging Rock Battlefield Park sits at the corner of 419 and 311. It lies beside Masons Creek, which flows among small boulders and beneath rocky cliffs. Over the past several years, since our boys were very young, we have…

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East of town, tucked back behind Bonsack, lies Read Mountain, where a short climb affords one of the valley’s most beautiful views. The Read Mountain Preserve is 243 acres of scenic woodland and ridgetop, jutting out between the I-81 and Route 460 corridors. The hike up the mountainside, while steep in places, is manageable even…

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Fall is here, and according to a tree expert at Virginia Tech, it might be one of the prettiest, most colorful ones we’ve seen in quite some time. Peak fall color is expected from now until October 26, which makes these next few weeks the perfect time to take a little drive through the Blue…

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Where I-77 crosses the New River, there lies a picturesque and unique bit of early Virginia history: the Shot Tower State Park. Built over 200 years ago, the Shot Tower is an interesting testament to pioneer-era resourcefulness and enterprise. The tower stands 75 feet tall, and was constructed around 1807 by the entrepreneur Thomas Jackson.…

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One spot our family has consistently loved and returned to over and over is Roaring Run Falls in Eagle Rock. The Roanoke area is teeming with places that are rich in both natural beauty and fascinating history, and Roaring Run is one of the best of them all. Although the Roaring Run Falls trail has…

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Living in the Blue Ridge Mountains is a privilege we try not to take lightly, and we love to find new ways and new places to enjoy this beautiful area. But we also have our old favorite haunts, and one of those is Explore Park, located just southeast of Roanoke along the Blue Ridge Parkway…

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Adventure #9: Carvins Cove Occasionally you find places that are fun for everyone from the youngest kids to the most hardcore enthusiasts. Carvins Cove is one of those unique places. Renowned for its 60+ miles of trails, Carvins Cove Natural Reserve draws mountain bikers and horseback riders from across the country. Its 12,500 acres of…

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Sometimes lesser known places hold a special kind of charm. Tucked away in the wilderness beyond New Castle, Fenwick Mines offers a unique set of attractions: hiking, swimming, picnicking, wildlife, a beautiful waterfall, a unique landscape, historical interest, and restful seclusion. Fenwick Mines Day Use Area has a history that dates back 130 years to…

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In the dog days of Roanoke summer, when you feel like the bowl of the valley and the urban microclimate are working together to trap the heat and melt you into a puddle, it’s great to know there are cool getaways within an hour’s drive. It’s even better when these getaways have health, scenic, cultural,…

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Adventure #6: Hanging Rock Overlook There are quite a few limitations on adventuring for young families. You need an activity that’s not too challenging but not too boring… something that requires a bit of effort but plenty of reward. You need to build young characters without losing adult sanity. Just such an adventure awaits at…

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