Lower Hoop Hole Loop
Little Reese didn't jump in, but did get into the cold water, while Daddy Ben jumped in later.
What do you get when you combine four kids nine and under, four dogs, six 30-somethings, the hiking semi-geezer couple and a jump-off-the-ledge swimmin' hole?
Well, some muddy kids, some shaky, barky dogs, some wet parents (and some not), The Day Hiker trying to keep the ground covers from getting all muddy, and a lot of big splashes and then mouths formed into Os from the cold-stream water pausing there to be eight or 10 feet deep.
Such is the reward of the lower Hoop Hole loop, and to the credit of all, it was undertaken by all using the full loop, walking the nearly three miles up the mountain, across the lower ridge and then down to the swimming hole, rather than just taking the just-over-one-mile easy route.
And of course you earn your lunch and your splash much better, especially on a cool, mildly threatening day such as this one, when it took some climbing to get fully warmed up in temps at about 70.
Lower Hoop Hole Trail. 4 miles.
How to get there: U.S. 220 north from Roanoke to just past the Eagle Rock turnoff and then left onto Va. 615 for about 10 miles to Hoop Hole parking area on right.