7 of the Most Popular Hikes Near Roanoke Virginia

hikes near roanoke virginia

Thanks to its location in the Blue Ridge Mountain area of Virginia, Roanoke has some great hiking nearby. You really can find something for everyone within a short drive of the city. Our guide to hiking near Roanoke, Virginia will show you the highlights of the area.

Before setting off on a hike, remember to always be prepared. Find out as much as you can about the trail you plan to hike before you plan your trip. Here are some things to consider before your hike:

  • The difficulty of the trail
  • Location and trail maps
  • Does the trail allow dogs?
  • Parking and restrooms
  • Pack sufficient water and food
  • Sunscreen, sunglasses, and insect repellent
  • Proper footwear
  • Let someone know where you are going

Choose one of these great hikes near Roanoke to get started on your outdoors adventure!

McAfee Knob

Trail Length: 8.8 miles

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Distance from Roanoke: 15 miles

Trailhead Location: Catawba Valley Dr, Catawba, VA 24070

McAfee Knob is one of the most popular hikes in Virginia, and it isn’t hard to see why. The stunning 270-degree view at the summit draws hikers and photographers from around the country.

This moderately difficult hike climbs steadily for about 1700 feet over the course of 4.4 miles. You can choose to descend using the same trail or choose a more leisurely route down the other side of the mountain to return to the parking area.

Sharp Top Mountain

Trail Length: 3 miles

Difficulty Level: Advanced

Distance from Roanoke: 29 miles

Trailhead Location: Sheep Creek Rd, Bedford, VA 24523

This 3-mile out and back hike is one of the most popular in the Peaks of Otter area. The trail is a steep ascent of 1200 feet over the course of 1.5 miles. Hikers are drawn to this challenging hike for the beautiful views from the summit. And don’t worry, there are easier hikes in the Peaks of Otter if not everyone in your group is game for this trail.

Mill Mountain Star Trail

Trail Length: 1.4 miles

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Distance from Roanoke: 3 miles

Trailhead Location: Mill Mountain Park, Roanoke, VA 24014

Roanoke’s Mill Mountain Park offers a great family outing with plenty of options for everyone. The moderately difficult Star Trail takes you to the summit of Mill Mountain where you can view the famous Roanoke Star up close. The park has several other hiking trails of various difficulty levels as well as a zoo and recreation center.

Dismal Falls

Trail Length: 0.2 miles

Difficulty Level: Easy

Distance from Roanoke: 75 miles

Trailhead Location: 395 Dismal Creek Rd, Bland, VA 24315

Dismal Falls is a unique and beautiful Virginia waterfall with a 12-foot drop and a stair step appearance. This (very) short hike is perfect for those who want to see waterfalls but aren’t up for a strenuous hike. There is also easy access to the nearby Flat Top Mountain trails for those who do want to hike.

Bottom Creek Gorge

Trail Length: 3.9 miles

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Distance from Roanoke: 21 miles

Trailhead Location: 7 10th Ave S, Shawsville, VA 24162

The Bottom Greek Gorge trail is a must-see for Virginia nature lovers. This hike features one of the tallest waterfalls in Virginia as well as a series of smaller waterfalls. It is also a good location to see many species of wildflowers when they are in season.

Tinker Cliffs

Trail Length: 8 miles

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Distance from Roanoke: 24 miles

Trailhead Location: Troutville, VA 24175

This eclectic trail offers a variety of interesting sights and experiences for hikers. The view from the top of the cliffs is unparalleled. You will come across some rock formations, bridges, and other features during your hike to the summit.

Chestnut Ridge Trail

Trail Length: 5.4 miles

Difficulty Level: Easy to Moderate

Distance from Roanoke: 4 miles

Trailhead Location: Roanoke, VA 24014

Just minutes from downtown Roanoke, the Chestnut Ridge trail is one of the most popular in the Roanoke Valley. The 5.4-mile figure eight loop trail can be shortened to 2.5 or 3.4 miles, offering options for different levels of hikers. The path is wide and well maintained, so it is a good choice for inexperienced hikers.

Read Mountain Reserve

Trail Length: 2-5 miles

Difficulty Level: Moderate to Advanced

Distance from Roanoke: 4 miles

Trailhead Location: Roanoke, VA 24014

The Read Mountain Reserve contains five miles of hiking trails, with options for varying difficulty and length. The most popular hike is the two-mile trail to Buzzards Rock, the summit of Read Mountain. Hikers are drawn by the beautiful mountain views as well as the unspoiled natural wonder of this 243-acre park.

Happy Hiking! Don’t Forget to like and share!

Photo: leidio


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