The state of Virginia is a place everyone should put on their places to visit when planning your next family vacation. With so much to see and do, everyone of all ages is sure to have a blast. An attraction that’s a must see when you are here is wonderful Read Mountain Preserve in Vinton.
This place is really truly special. From roosting buzzards, a city skyline, and a 2,350-foot peak lure hikers to this 3.4-mile out-and-back inside Roanoke’s Read Mountain Preserve, here is where memories outdoors are made. Also, the beautiful view from the top is one of the absolute best views in the entire Roanoke Valley.
It’s 243 acres of forested land, preserving a natural environment the public can enjoy for generations. The main feature of the park is a 1.9 mile trail to Read Mountain’s summit at Buzzards Rock. The trail is moderate to strenuous difficulty, and will take the average hiker on a 2.5 hour round trip.
Close by to other amazing breathtaking nature areas, like the beautiful Explore Park, the preserve is perfect for hikers needing a quick fix. The park’s tiny entrance, tucked in a back corner of a still-growing subdivision, belies the preserve’s true size which is 243 acres sprawled across the eastern flank and summit of Read Mountain.
This 3.4-mile out-and-back follow the preserve is one and only trail to Buzzards Rock, a cluster of boulders at the top of Read Mountain. From the trailhead, the path crosses a small meadow then starts a gentle, forested ascent where nature takes over as the forest closes in with the soothing sounds of wildlife.
The trail switchbacks steadily up the mountain, skipping over tiny creeks and up stone steps. You’ll catch a tree-framed view of downtown Roanoke at the southern end of the trail just below the ridgeline. A final stroll across the mountain’s spine leads to Buzzards Rock. Be sure to see it for yourself when you’re here.
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