The Roanoke Region is known for its outdoor offerings and culture. In just minutes from our urban core, you can be paddling on the James, Roanoke and New Rivers, hiking on the Appalachian Trail, cycling on the Blue Ridge Parkway, or mountain biking at the nation’s second-largest municipal park (Carvins Cove).
An engaged and growing outdoors community is continuously adding more infrastructure like trails systems, greenways, and river access. In fact, Roanoke is building trails at a faster pace than any other volunteer-led effort in the U.S.
The immediate access to Roanoke’s robust natural assets makes it easy for locals and employees to live an active, healthy, outdoor lifestyle and is a huge draw that can be leveraged to attract clients and talent to the region.
- IMBA Silver-Level Ride Center with some of best mountain biking trails in the world. The region was the first designated ride center on the East Coast.
- The Appalachian Trail is a 2,175-mile trail following the Appalachian Mountains from Georgia to Maine, 544 miles of which are in Virginia.
- Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most popular national park systems, running 469 miles through mountains and open meadows. Through stone overpasses and the deciduous canopy, historic structures complement the view.
- Carvins Cove Natural Reserve is the second largest municipal park in the nation. It holds a major water source within its 12,700 acres and overflowing recreational opportunities including hiking, biking, fishing, and boat rentals. 11,363 acres of Carvins Cove is protected by the largest conservation easement in Virginia’s history.
- Dixie Caverns is open throughout the year, featuring guided tours through a beautiful cave.
- Explore Park is just off the Blue Ridge Parkway and offers ziplines, mountain biking, camping, tubing and more.
- George Washington and Jefferson National Forest has thousands of acres and hundreds of miles of trails and streams. Explore!
- Jackson River Scenic Trail is built along an old railroad and runs along the Jackson River in the Alleghany Highland. Walk, jog, or bike!
- Mill Mountain Park and Discovery Center is a popular tourist destination and home to the Roanoke Star and Mill Mountain Zoo. The park features outlooks, hiking trails, and beautiful views of the region, as well as a Discovery Center.
- Mill Mountain Zoo is home to a unique array of animal species, including a rare Red Panda.
- Natural Bridge State Park is often considered one of the seven natural wonders of the world. Standing 215 feet tall and 90 feet wide. What was once owned by Thomas Jefferson also bears the initials of George Washington.
- Smith Mountain Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Virginia with over 500 miles of shore line winding through the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains.