Monday, October 24, 2011

Meg's Hike

A Fall Hike at Happy Hollow Garden and Carvins Cove by Meg Prager
The Mighty Oak at Happy Hollow (That's my husband Rich)
My husband and I went hiking today to enjoy the fabulous weather we are experiencing, our first stop was Happy Hollow Garden in South Roanoke.

This is a 24 acre pocket of woodland that sits not far from the city and was donated to Roanoke County by the Burgess family (read about them here). We were looking forward to seeing what was billed as the second oldest oak in Roanoke County. Alas, the mighty oak was lying on the ground! We met some local folks on the trail and were told that the tree went down as recently as 2 months ago.

Nevertheless, Happy Hollow is a lovely small place to hike, and we will have to return in the Spring because there are apparently over 800 azaleas along the trails.

Our next stop was the Carvins Cove Recreation Area, 8 miles North of Roanoke and not too far from Hollins University (see here)  
Carvins Cove
Again, we were right outside the city, but felt hundreds of miles away. Carvins Cove is a 13,000 acre watershed with a 600 acre reservoir where kayaks, canoes and rowboats could be seen out on the water.  There are trails (not very well marked) all around the reservoir. We met a young man fishing with his grandfather and they said this past summer while out fishing not too far off the shore they saw black bears on two occasions.

We found both of these trail areas in the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail book from the Virginia Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries. Click here to view and purchase this very useful guide.

If you are interested in other outdoor recreational opportunities in this region, we recommend you visit

As always the BRFAL Chapter of Virginia Master Naturalist wants you to get outside, explore and learn something new today. So eat your Wheaties, grab your walking stick, bottle of water and camera and head on out in these Blue Ridge Mountains!  Learn more about the Virginia Master Naturalist program here!

Get involved in something cool, our next basic training will be held at The Franklin Center in Downtown Rocky Mount beginning March 2012, feel free to email us for more details: or visit our website for the draft schedule of classes here.

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