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Get Outside Weekend Update -- 10/30-11/2

Festivals, Events, & Outings

Thursday, October 30

Friday, October 31

Saturday, November 1

Sunday, November 2

Monday, November 3

Tuesday, November 4

Wednesday, November 5

Thursday, November 6

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Pete's Pick: Fall Foliage Outing

Fall is quite possibly my favorite time of the year. I absolutely love the cool evenings and relish any opportunity to put on my fleece. Here are a few ideas on how you can soak in the fall colors while exploring the Roanoke Region:


One of the most beautiful hikes in our area is the hike to Apple Orchard Falls, one of Virginia’s tallest and most spectacular waterfalls. Although the entire loop is a little over 7 miles, if you walk the loop counter clockwise you can hike out and back to the falls in about 2.5 miles.


From Apple Orchard, enjoy a scenic drive over to our friends at Twin River Outfitters. Tell them Roanoke Outside sent you and they’ll set you up with a mellow 2 to 3 hour canoe float down the Upper James River Water Trail. There’s something magical about a fall float…especially when the leaves are in their full glory. Better hurry though, Twin River closes for the season on November 10. 


On your way home take a tour of the tasting room at Flying Mouse Brewery. The brewery, tucked in a hollow not far from Twin River Outfitters, is focused on the experience and enjoyment of craft beer as part of an active outdoor lifestyle … and based on the day you just had you fit the bill. Enjoy!

Get Outside!

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Pete Eshelman (friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter)
Director of Outdoor Branding
Roanoke Regional Partnership

Check out the Outdoor Calendar for 

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Save the Bats for National Bat Week

This week is National Bat Week, and a campaign to help the little critters is enlisting celebrities to get the word out. Save the Bats has taken the lead by launching a hashtag (#savethebats) and recruiting the stars of the upcoming Batman reboot to change the way bats are percieved. 

Below you will see Ben Affleck, Amy Adams, and director Zack Snyder talking about why bats are important to the ecosystem, and how you can help. 


Save the Bats also has a Facebook page with more information on how you can help stop the spread of the deadly White-Nose Syndrome and foster a bat community in your area. 

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Break Out the Blaze Orange: It's Hunting Season

Whether you are a hunter or not, it’s a good time to remind everyone that hunting season is officially underway in Virginia.

It’s a good idea to break out your most brightly-colored clothing when you hit the trails all fall so that you can see other users around you. It’s a good idea for everyone – even non-hunters – to don orange vests when you head out for a hike, trail run, bike ride, or camping adventure. And remember to put a vest on your dog, too.


  • A licensed hunter has every bit as much right to be in the woods as you.
  • Sunday hunting is now legal on private land and under certain circumstances. Find out more about the Sunday Hunting Law here. 
  • Be visible. Wear bright colors and avoid earth tones. Don't wear white – a flash of white may be mistaken for a deer's tail.
  • Make noise. Don't be obnoxious, but don't be silent. Talk with your partner, whistle, or wear a bell.
  • Stick to the trail. Hunters are generally aware of where trails are located.


Visit the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries for an official listing of hunting seasons, regulations, and standards. This list only covers the more popular hunting seasons.

Err on the safe side and assume it is hunting season between Oct. 1 and Jan. 30.

  • Deer firearms: Nov. 15-Jan. 3 (exact dates vary by city/county)
  • Deer archery: Oct. 4-Nov. 14 (statewide), and Dec. 14-Jan. 3 in limited locations
  • Deer muzzleloader: Nov. 1-Nov. 14 and Dec. 13-Jan. 3 in limited locations
  • Turkey firearms: Oct. 25-Nov. 7, Nov. 27, Dec. 1-27, and Jan. 10-24


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BRP Overlooks to Get Face Lift

Blue Ridge ParkwayThe iconic Blue Ridge Parkway overlooks are getting a facelift, and typical of this day in age, social media is partly to thank. Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway recently announced they would be clearing trees and debris from BRP vistas in the Roanoke Region, restoring the original views from the byway's numerous overlooks. 

Over the years, budget cuts have limited the amount of work done to keep the overlooks open and scenic. The uninhibited growth has rendered many overlooks useless when it comes to views of the Blue Ridge.

Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway quote a Facebook user as an example of some typical comments about the BRP experience:

"You people need to learn the meaning of the word OVERLOOK. We drove your Blue Ridge Parkway from Hillsville to Roanoke this weekend. What a DISAPPOINTMENT!! MOST of your overlooks were just staring at a group of trees right in your face. NO VIEWS AT ALL!"

 But that is about to change come November 1, when a team of National Park Service Arborist Incident Responders will start wielding their chainsaws. The team will begin their work at the Peaks of Otter and move south through the Roanoke Valley to Adney Gap - 20 miles south of Roanoke - over six days, clearing up to 90 overlooks. 

"It's a RED LETTER DAY for the Parkway and for Friends," said past president Richard Wells. "In the 20 years I've served on the board, I can't remember a more important initiative."  

Anyone who has visited the Parkway knows all too well the frustration of pulling off to take in the sights from a designated overlook, and being stymied by a wall of green. This initiative will help bring the Parkway's user experience back to the original concept of showcasing the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. 

Find out more about Friends of the BRP and how you can help >>>

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Get Outside Weekend Update -- 10/23-26

Festivals, Events, & Outings

Thursday, October 23

Friday, October 24

Saturday, October 25

Sunday, October 26

Monday, October 27

Tuesday, October 28

Wednesday, October 29

Thursday, October 30

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Pete's Pick: A Big GO Fest Thank You

We are still recovering here at Roanoke Outside headquarters from this past weekend's incredible Anthem Go Outside Festival, so this week's Pete's Pick is a little different.

I and the rest of the team would like to send out a big THANK YOU to everyone who came out for GO Fest. We had an amazing turnout for 2014, and could not be more pleased with the result. We are still analyzing the numbers, but we are almost certain this year's GO Fest will set records for attendance. Just checking out all the festival goers on Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday, we could tell lots of people were out at the festival grounds having a great time. 

When Roanoke Outside teamed up with Roanoke Parks & Recreation to found GO Fest four years ago, we imagined the event growing into one of the biggest and best outdoor festivals on the East Coast, and that is exactly what has happened. GO Fest is a festival for the people, to cultivate a healthy, active community year-round. That is why all of GO Fest - the activities, the events, the music - is free.

It takes a lot to put on GO Fest, and it takes the great support of our sponsors to keep it free year after year.  

A big thank you goes out to: Anthem, Roanoke Parks & Recreation, Carter Machinery, Ford, Eddie Bauer, Walkabout Outfitter, South 16 at The Bridges, Parkway Brewing, Starr Hill, Carilion, WDBJ7, Cardinal Bicycle, The River Rock, Wilderness Adventure at Eagle Landing, Keen, ENO, Klean Kanteen, Back Country Ski & Sports, Outdoor Trails, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Mountain Khakis, Underdog Bikes, Dominion Electric Vehicles, McNett, Gerber, Giant, Bianchi, and Niner.

So, please let them know how much you appreciate their support of GO Fest and Roanoke Outside, and be sure to mark your calendars for next year's GO Fest - Oct. 16-18, 2015.

And thanks again for coming out!

Pete Eshelman (friend me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter)
Director of Outdoor Branding
Roanoke Regional Partnership

Check out the Outdoor Calendar for upcoming events
you need to keep your eye on!



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Run for Your LIfe at the Spooky Sprint 5K

It's that time of year to dig out your favorite costume, grab a candy bucket, and... run a 5k?

Halloween comes early this weekend at the 4th Annual Spooky Sprint 5k taking place this Saturday, October 25th at 10:00 am. Race-day registration will be available from 8:30-9:30 am at the Wasena Park picnic shelter near the Iron Bridge Saturday morning. 

Costumes are not only allowed at this fun, family friendly race, they are encouraged! Awards will be given out to the best and most creative costume during the race after party at the Wasena City Tap Room and Grill. 

Speaking of the after party, you'll want to hang around after this race. Free beer and pizza will be available, along with live music, for participants and their friends and families at the Wasena Tap Room and Grill. Medals and trophies will also be handed out for winners. 

The proceeds from the event will benefit the West End Center for Youth

Find out more about this race, and see costumes from last year >>>

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Learn to Live Green at Energy Expo

Want to green up your life, but not sure how, or even where to start? Then mark your calendar for the Green Living & Energy Expo on November 7-8 at the Berglund Center, formerly the Roanoke Civic Center. 

The expo is hosted by The Association of Energy Conservation Professionals and is the longest running event dedicated to helping people and communities sustain healthy, clean, and smart lifestyles. This free event aims to inspire, inform, and enable citizens to take action and make educated decisions about energy production and management, construction design, home improvement, transportation, agriculture, air quality, and living a more sustainable lifestyle in general. 

Over 100 vendors will be on hand with presentations and workshops, providing everyone from kids to companies something to see and do. 

The expo runs from 10am-5pm on Friday, November 7, and from 10am-4pm on Saturday, November 8. 

This is a great opportunity to check out some of the latest conservation tactics and technology available to help you not only reduce your carbon footprint and energy consumption, but also help you save money on your energy bills. 

Find out more about the Green Living & Energy Expo >>>

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Craft Beer Tour Provides Taste of Town

The beer business is booming in the Roanoke Region. With 14 craft breweries, and more on the way, in the surrounding area, Roanoke is quickly putting itself on the beer map as a hotspot for IPAs, stouts, and porters. 

Beyond just the availability of fresh, local beer, this brewery boom has had another affect on the community of beer drinkers: the concentration of breweries in the area has given rise to its own micro-economy.

This micro-economy may best be visualized in the new Roanoke Craft Beer Tours. The beer tour is an offshoot of the Discover Roanoke Food Tours that highlights farm-to-table, and other unique culinary offerings in Roanoke. Both tours are founded by Larry Landolt, and expose the hidden gems of the food and beverage scene of the Roanoke Region.

The beer tour is a great way to sample the beers of local breweries, but it involves much more than that. The tour includes guided tours of the breweries as well as Brewing 101 and other information about the industry. Plus, you'll be riding around in a bus, so you don't have to worry about transportation.

Tours take place on Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons and last about four hours. 

Find out more about the Roanoke Craft Beer Tour >>>

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