Hike along the River Walk Trail in Roanoke's Explore Park

Rutrough Parking Area

Beautiful, leisurely river walk just 20 minutes from Downtown Roanoke.

Starting at a great spot to picnic, fish, or put in a kayak, this casual hike meanders along the Roanoke River. Along the trail you can enjoy views of some small river rapids and the beautiful trees surrounding along the river.

The trail begins at a parking lot at the end of Rutrough Road.  There is plenty of parking available and this lot doubles as a boat launch for those who want to play on the river.  There is a small parking fee for Explore Park upkeep. The River Trail begins at the far end of parking lot, it is well maintained and marked with blue blazes every 20 feet or so.  After about a mile the trail merges with a red blazed trail, then becomes blue again to completion.  The trail is mostly flat with some gently rolling incline; for those looking to add on there are many spur trails for additional distance and elevation gain.  There are no restrooms near this trail, however there is one available at a different parking lot off the red blazed trail. 

This is a great all season hike, as well as a fun place for fly fishing, kayaking or canoeing, mountain biking or a family picnic.  

Pack List

  • Walking shoes or hiking boots
  • Water
  • Cash for parking ($2 currently) 
  • Flashlight

Optional:

  • Fishing equipment
  • Kayak or canoe
  • Picnic lunch
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RT Distance 1.5 Miles
Activities Chillin, Fishing, Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Forest
Picnic Area
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Meh

It's a nice spot to do a little wild life photography or take the dog for a walk but as far as a hike goes it's more of an over grown nature walk.

An Easy Stroll Along The River

This is an easy walk along the Roanoke River. The trail itself was somewhat overgrown and unlike the description implied there was no loop. It is basically an out and back and you can go as long as you want.(We went a total of 3.2 miles).


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