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moderately difficult hiking recommendations

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Charlotte NC
posts: 36
reviews: 97
moderately difficult hiking recommendations

My 14 year old and I are coming to Roanoke for the weekend. We want to take hikes on Sat and Sun. The McAfee Knob one feels like the one to do on Sat when we have more time. The Mill Star hike seems easy for a Sunday morning visit to the Star. Any better recommendations or advice from you Roanoke locals out there? I know it's a beautiful outdoorsy location so we are coming from Charlotte just for a two day weekend. Also plan to hit the VA Transportation Museum. Don't think the Taubman will interest a 14 year old. Staying at the Cambria Suites. Thanks in advance for tips/advice.

Th

Maryland
posts: 1,211
reviews: 6
1. Re: moderately difficult hiking recommendations

I don't know, but try http://www.localhikes.com and http://www.trails.com

Virginia Beach...
Destination Expert
for Suffolk
posts: 1,385
reviews: 139
2. Re: moderately difficult hiking recommendations

The Mount Pleasant hike is moderate with great views! Here are the details and it's less than 60 minutes from Roanoke:

www.hikingupward.com/GWNF/MountPleasant/

On the same road and same area but not sharing a trailhead, is Cold (or Cole Mountain), a great trail intersecting the AT, wonderful vista type views, slightly more difficult, but no need to do entire trail, if desired, go to 1st or 2nd "saddle" for wonderful views and moderate hike. Details here:

www.hikingupward.com/GWNF/ColdMountain/

Happy Trails

Salem, VA
posts: 303
reviews: 8
3. Re: moderately difficult hiking recommendations

My favorite is Dragon's Tooth. The view from the top is breathtaking and it is a bit more challenging than McAfee's Knob.

http://www.hikingupward.com/JNF/DragonsTooth/

Roanoke, Virginia
posts: 97
reviews: 28
4. Re: moderately difficult hiking recommendations

My two favorites are a bit outside of town. I highly recommend the Cascades in Giles County. It's probably my favorite hike of all time. You follow a pristine mountain stream up a gorge for about two miles and end at a spectacular waterfall. It's probably about an hour drive from Roanoke. If you go it's $3 to park unless you have an annual federal lands pass.

Another one I really like is Bottom Creek Gorge on Bent Mountain. You can find information on the Nature Conservancy's website. It's around five miles and has virgin hemlock forest, remnants of an old settlement, another beautiful mountain stream, and the second highest waterfall in Virginia (although nowhere near the volume of the Cascades even though it's taller.) It's not as much elevation change as the Cascades.

The trails on Mill Mountain are nice for city trails but don't really have any special features other than the overlook at the star. With such short time, I'd recommend driving up to the overlook and spending your hiking time at some other destinations. Nothing wrong with them, but they won't give you a feel for the true beauty of the mountains around here. Wear good boots or shoes as the trails are rocky on Mill Mountain and are sharp. I could feel every one of them the last time I was up there - even through my hiking boots.

You'll also have easy access to the Roanoke River Greenway from your hotel. It's a paved greenway that runs along the river and is nice for a walk or bike ride with river views most of the way.

Edited: 10:53 pm, September 10, 2011
5. Re: moderately difficult hiking recommendations

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