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“First time kayaking” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Carvins Cove Natural Reserve

Carvins Cove Natural Reserve
Ranked #12 of 66 things to do in Roanoke
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Roanoke, Virginia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“First time kayaking”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 25, 2014 via mobile

Monday was first day for me at Carvins Cove and first time kayaking, it was recommended by a friend and I have fallen in love. Felt very safe here and talked extensively with the very knowledgeable staff about rules and safest way to have fun. You can rent kayaks, paddle boats and more! Life jackets are provided with rentals and fees are reasonable even if you bring your own equipment. Loved the views and can't wait to go back again.

2 Thank Misty M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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51 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Roanoke, Virginia
Level Contributor
55 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Wildlife and relaxation”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 17, 2014

This is a great place to see wildlife and relax with the family. Many large black bears live here, as well as deer, fox, coyotes, squirrels, rabbits, bobcats, and any lake fairing species. The Appalachian trail runs through the reserve. There is easy access by driving and parking, hiking in from 2 different directions of the AT, or an easier footpath from a back road. The AT hike from Tinker mountain is very steep.

Visited May 2014
Thank JoeSwindell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ulaanbaatar, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
Level Contributor
27 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“quiet with minimal use”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2014

There are two ways to come in to the reserve. I usually head out towards Catawba and circle in the back parking lot. There is a fee to use the reserve, but it's low. I always hike, but it looks perfect for biking and I often see mountain bikes in the parking lot. When I was there, there were NO toilets and no maps. I took a picture with my phone of the trailhead map for reference. Many many miles of trails, and I rarely see more than 2-3 bikers while I am out. I have not seen bear or turkey but plenty of deer, raccoon, possum and birds. THe trails are mostly shady, and the ratings (easy, intermediate, advanced) are pretty accurate. Perfect for trail running, hiking or biking. Lots of streams. Not many viewpoints on the lower trails-- they just sweep through wide open valleys with rocks and streams, wooded with moderate growth mixed pine and hardwoods. Many of the trails allow a loop, so you are not backtracking. Very peaceful for so close to Roanoke. (about 20 minutes from SW Roanoke). There is no hunting, so it is pretty safe all year.

Visited October 2013
6 Thank Kathryn L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
15 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Entrance fee required”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2014

I was surprised to drive in and find that all (16 and up) who wanted to set foot on the property had to pay a "user fee." There were boats available for rent as well as a boat ramp, a walking trail and pavilion, but we didn't think it was worth the fee since we only wanted a place to have a picnic.

Visited May 2014
4 Thank K Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
122 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 166 helpful votes
“A hidden gem”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2013

This a small reservoir for the city of Roanoke and surroundig areas. There are two ways to get into the reserve one is off of Rt 11 just north of Roanoke. The other way is through Bennett Springs off Rt 311. The big attraction for me was miles of mountain bike trails that range from beginners to expert. every time I ride I see bear, deer, turkey, and some things I'm not sure I want to know. Make sure you bring water and basic maintenance equipment in case you pop a chain it is a long walk out

Visited January 2013
2 Thank a1scuba
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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