January 4

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7 Best Picnic Areas in Roanoke Va

By Brian B

January 4, 2021


There's so much that goes into a good picnic that you'll realize once you do it, it's not as easy as it looks.

From driving distance, to ambiance and crowd, where you choose to go is equally as important as what you choose to eat.

Also please don't forget about coordinating the distance to the amount of time your food stays fresh when ordering restaurant carryout for a picnic.

There's a undeniable correlation with great picnic spots and water as six of the seven locations below are either next to Roanoke River, a dam or a creek.

Yoanoke has complied a list of the top 7 picnic areas in Roanoke, Va that could be the right fit for your next outdoor eating excursion.

Roanoke Hikes Easy Carvins Cove Yoanoke

1. Carvin's Cove Natural Reserve

 Quiet    Lake    Nature       

11,200

Acreage

3

Trailheads

1

Food & Drink Options

6+

Primary Activities

Carvin's Cove Natural Reserve is the fifth largest city-park in the United States according to Carvin's Cove Wikipedia making this quite possibly one of the biggest places to picnic in this area.

Chestnut Trail scaled

2. Chestnut Ridge Trail

 Quiet    Nature Trail    Roanoke Mountain Campground       

5.4

Trail Miles

1

Trailhead

0

Food & Drink Options

3+

Primary Activities

Chestnut Ridge Trail has a lovely trailhead off Mill Mountain Parkway you can enjoy a picnic near the entrance or be sure to check out the amenities at Roanoke Mountain Campground which the trail circles around. 

Explorer Park Campsites scaled

3. Explore Park

 River   Nature Trails    Outdoor Activities       

1,100

Acreage

4+

Trailheads

1

Food & Drink Options

6+

Primary Activities

Explore Park is the third of three picnic spots in Roanoke, Va along the Roanoke River with Green Hill Park and the Roanoke River Greenway being the other two.

Yoanoke Things To Do Salem Green Park

4. Green Hill Park

 Medium Difficulty    Panoramic Views    Appalachian Trail       

480

Acreage

1

Trailhead

0

Food & Drink Options

6+

Primary Activities

Green Hill Park is just up the Roanoke River about 20 minutes north of the Roanoke River Greenway. This is a great park for not only picnics but river floating, fishing, biking and more.

Mill Mountain Star Close scaled

5. Mill Mountain Star

 Mill Mountain Zoo    Panoramic Views    Overlooking Roanoke       

568

Acreage

1

Trailhead

0

Food & Drink Options

6+

Primary Activities

Mill Mountain Star is the best place to get a view of Roanoke without a hike. The park has a children's play area, gazebo, picnic benches and even a zoo.

Roanoke Hikes Easy Roanoke Greenway Yoanoke

6. Roanoke River Greenway

 Medium Difficulty   Panoramic Views    Overlooking Roanoke       

12,000

Acreage

7

Trailheads

10+

Food & Drink Options

6+

Primary Activities

Roanoke River Greenway has plenty of attractions and plenty of places to sit down for a bite. At 13.5 pave miles long from, finding a perfect spot with the right amount of scenery and noise level is achievable.

Roaring Run Falls scaled

7. Roaring Run Hoop Hole Trail

 Easy    Waterfalls    Picnic       

1.5

Distance

1

Trailhead

0

Food & Drink Options

6+

Primary Activities

Roaring Run Hoop Hole Trail is a clear winner for the furthest picnic spot on the list but perhaps one of the most rewarding when having a full afternoon to enjoy. In addition to picnic areas, there is a nature trail, several waterfalls leading up to the main waterfall and a streamside hike that's suited for all ages and cardiovascular levels. 

Map to All Picnic Areas in Roanoke, Va

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