Poor Mountain Natural Area Preserve protects the world’s largest population of the globally rare shrub Piratebush, which is restricted to only a handful of sites in the mountains of Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina.
The “Wednesday Trail Crew,” a group of local volunteers led by Bill Gordge and the Roanoke Valley Pathfinders, constructed more than 1.5 miles of the trail system at Poor Mountain.
While the 0.75-mile Piratebush Loop interpretive trail affords a relatively level and easy hiking opportunity, the main loop trail affords a strenuous 3.8-mile hike with over 500 feet of vertical drop and return climb. Stone stairs, scenic vistas, fire ecology, and outstanding looks at Table Mountain pine woodlands make the Poor Mountain Trail a great recreational resource. Hiking the loop in a counter-clockwise direction provides the easiest hike. Hike in a clockwise direction if you want more of a challenge. Overall, the preserve offers challenges as well as leisurely hikes that expose the beauty of Poor Mountain.
Barrel Chest has Roanoke’s largest, most expertly curated selection of craft beer and fine wine. It is the only retail store in the area to have beer on tap, wine by the glass, and growler fills to go. Beer options include plenty of names you know and beers brewed on site.
Big Lick Brewing Company was Roanoke’s first nano brewery and taproom; while it has grown the idea that it is “specializing in craft beer with an emphasis on quality and variety” has not. You might find anything from a cream ale to IPA to porter at any given time.
The taproom is open Wednesday through Saturday. Bring your growler for a fill-up to go.
Chaos Mountain Brewing is located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of southwest Virginia, in Franklin County.
The tasting room features a combination of packaged products as well as some small batch brews totaling six to 10 different styles at any time. Chaos Mountain is dedicated to producing the best possible beer from the best available ingredients. From easy drinking session beers to big, intense Belgian style ales, there is something that just about everyone will enjoy.
One note if you plan to visit the brewery and are coming from 221 Bent Mountain, do not follow GPS over the gap.
The brewery is open Thursday through Sunday.
Taste a craft beer (or two) in historic downtown Roanoke. Whether you’re biking through town or coming from an Appalachian Trail adventure, the tasting room is a great stop to experience great beer and great conversation. Deschutes Brewery souvenirs are available for purchase, as well as regional-sourced snacks, and plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.
Hammer & Forge Brewing Company exists as a celebration of the hard workers in every industry! The company brews each beer to honor the dedication of everyday hard working people; individuals who see each new day as an opportunity to improve themselves and the world around them.
Life is not about the end goal; life is an adventure meant to be enjoyed with the people you love by learning new things and experiencing new places. Our journey just happens to include making great beer!
Open Thursday through Saturday.
Ober Brewing Company is a family-owned micro-brewery and taproom, focusing on sourcing as many local ingredients as possible, to create high quality enjoyable craft beer. Dave Ober studied brewing at the Siebel Institute of Technology in Chicago and has been homebrewing for about a decade.
Located at the very heart of Salem Virginia’s Historic Main Street District, Olde Salem Brewing Co. exudes history. The building was constructed just 114 years after the town was founded in 1806 by James Simpson; and was home to a well known appliance store for decades. Olde Salem believes its craft beers hold a piece of that history in every glass.
Open Tuesday through Sunday.
Parkway Brewing Company is a 4 vessel, 30 bbl micro-brewery with a 17,000 barrel capacity, in Salem, Virginia, specializing in distinctive ales for the discriminating beer enthusiast. Founded in 2012, Parkway Brewing offers several beers exclusively on-site, as well as flagship beers sold in bottles and kegs throughout Virginia.
Random live music, from old-time bluegrass to blues and rock, and a variety of food trucks make this a destination for weary travelers who need a break from driving on Interstate 81. A casual, low-key vibe, along with some stellar brews keep the locals coming back for more. Family friendly and boasting an outdoor beer garden, Parkway Brewing has become one of Salem’s most unique and welcome community assets.
The tasting room is open Wednesday through Sunday.
Soaring Ridge Craft Brewers opened in Downtown Roanoke in 2014 and features a mix of styles including Kolsch, Belgian white, IPA, APA, nut brown ale, porter, and seasonal specialties.
The brewery is just four blocks from Hotel Roanoke and the Roanoke City Market. Stop by to sample what’s new or hang around for the weekly cornhole tournaments or live music in the tasting room.
The tasting room is open Thursday through Saturday.
AmRhein’s Wine Cellars, a family-owned winery since 1999, is at an elevation of 2,500 feet just off the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 136.
Just 20 minutes from Roanoke and less than two hours from Charlottesville, Lynchburg and Greensboro, N.C. Specializing in Virginia-style wines from 100 percent estate grown grapes with 35,000 vines in three vineyard locations (Bent Mountain, Franklin County, and Botetourt) producing more than 15 different wines. Sit on the veranda and enjoy the cool mountain breezes, while sampling a few award-winning wines.
One of Virginia’s most scenic wineries, perched on a 2,000 foot mountain overlooking the Roanoke Region. Wines are made in the French minimalist fashion and aged in an underground barrel cave, which was blasted 60 feet beneath the vineyard.
The 21 acre vineyard produces world class Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc and more. Decomposing granite soils and unique climate (similar to Rhone Valley of France) afford the premier terroir on the East Coast.
Valhalla is open for tours, tastings, and picnicking from April through December on Saturdays and Sundays. Fridays nights feature live music from 5:30-7:30 p.m. (Winery and cave tours are available.)
Outfitting Southwest Virginia since 1979, Back Country Ski and Sports is a full-service ski and snowboard, canoe, kayak, and backpacking shop with expert sales and service.
Back County also rents kayaks for the day. Pick up your boat at the Salem or Blacksburg location, hit the river of your choice, and return the boat when you’re done.
The Blue Ridge Grotto is a chapter of the National Speleological Society (NSS), and has been in existence since 1969. The purpose of the grotto is “to encourage and promote the study and science of speleology; to promote the preservation, conservation and exploration of caves; to coordinate the efforts of the members; to facilitate the communication of speleological information; to encourage fellowship among those interested in spelunking (caving); and to promote safety.”
Blue Ridge Grotto members promote cave conservation and cave safety and foster and maintain good landowner relations by always asking permission before going caving, and by honoring all cave closures. Members are involved in exploration, survey, vertical caving, cave cleanups and other cave conservation work, cave photography, outreaches to scout troops, science classes, and civic groups. Several BRG members are also trained in NCRC techniques and are on 24-hour call for cave rescues.
The group meets the third Friday of every month at 6:30 p.m. at Jersey Lily’s Roadhouse in Salem.
The mission of the Blue Ridge Horse Force is to promote grassroots showmanship and sportsmanship by uniting local open horse shows. BRHF shows are held by organizations ranging from 4-H groups to civic leagues to training stables to charitable organizations. All are able to raise more funds for their groups through increased BRHF member participation. Exhibitors can compete at any of these shows knowing that there will be uniformity in class descriptions and offerings.
The running group is a “ great place to make new running pals and ‘earn’ your favorite craft brews,” says Keno Snyder, owner/manager of Parkway Brewing Company. Get your card punched after each run and with three finishes, earn a pint for a penny.
East Coasters is a full service bike shop offering new bikes for sale and professional repair on all makes and models. The shop carries everything you need to make your ride safer, more enjoyable, and most importantly – more fun!
In addition to promoting and assisting local races, East Coasters offers weekly rides and dedicates recycling resources for tubes, chains, gears, paper, plastic, aluminum, and steel.
For almost 100 years Girl Scouts have been helping girls discover their self potential. Did you know that 70 percent of women in the U.S. Congress were Girl Scouts? They’re not alone. About 69 percent of female executives and leaders have participated in Girl Scouts.
Girl Scouts has age-appropriate programs that meet the needs of today’s girls from kindergarten to 12th grade. The model is based on three principles:
The Green Hill Park Equestrian Center is a public facility owned by Roanoke County and operated by a private board of directors exclusively for the equine enthusiast. The facility is open year round for members with three show rings and a cross country course offering opportunities for all disciplines. The park is available for rent for horse shows and related events.
The Roanoke Valley Astronomical Society is an organization of amateur astronomers dedicated to the pursuit of astronomical observational and photographic activities. Meetings are held on the third Monday of each month. Meetings are open to the public. Observing sessions are held one or two weekends a month at a dark-sky site. No telescope is needed to participate.
RunAbout Sports Roanoke is a specialty running store located in the Cave Spring area of Roanoke. Runabout Sports is unique because their expert staff is trained to help you the customer find the correct shoe by analyzing the customer’s biomechanical needs.
Run with a casual group of runners and train for events.
Run with a casual group of runners and train for events.
Whether your passion is hunting, fishing, camping, backpacking or shooting, it’s important to have the right equipment when you head into the great outdoors. That’s why Sportsman’s Warehouse carries only top-quality, brand-name products for the serious outdoor enthusiast.
The Virginia Bass Federation strives to preserve and promote the sport of bass fishing. Federation activities include the introduction of sport fishing to young people and the conservation of water and other natural resources. The 2,400 Virginia members support and cooperate with fishery management agencies and educational institutions to develop and protect quality fisheries.
The state federation and its 10 regional divisions — the Roanoke area is part of Region 4 — also organize and conduct competitive fishing events. The federation was established in 1972 and has a proud history of accomplishments with youth, conservation and community service.
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