New (to Us) Trails in Roanoke and Franklin Counties
Gail along the Pigg River in the Waid Park Recreation Area, on a nice October day when no one else had gloves on.
October 3: Home to Billy's Restaurant in downtown Roanoke and back. 6 miles.
At the height of Roanoke's pretty-much-two-weeks of non-stop rain, we opted for carrying the umbrellas on an urban walk to a fine meal and back. And we got lucky, breaking the umbrellas out only once or twice.
October 11: Cornelius Creek Trail to AT to Black Rock, back to Apple Orchard Trail. 7.8 miles.
An old favorite that we undertook a few days after the rains stopped. And sure enough, we had to wade across Cornelius Creek at one trail crossing, and Apple Orchard Falls was full and loud. Lunch at Black Rock offered its usual views in three directions.
October 17: Rivers Edge Complex up Mill Mountain and back. 4 miles.
We biked to the Go Outside Festival, spent some fun time there--we both have a weakness for the jumping dogs; and it was fun to run into grandson Matthew arriving on his own bike--and then set out through South Roanoke to the Monument Trail and on up Mill Mountain for a nice picnic. On the loop road on the way back down, we twice crossed the cyclist who was in the process of setting a new record of Everesting--the process of covering the distance up the world's tallest mountain in the shortest time possible, which on the Mill Mountain road amounted to 44 times up and down. We then spent a bit more of the afternoon at GOFest before biking on back home via the Roanoke River Greenway.
October 24: Trails through Green Hill Park. About 3 miles.
New trails for us between games of a U10 soccer tournament for grandson Tyler. We were acquainted with the lower area of the park through runs and other games, but had no idea that the trail system offers not just a nice view from its high point, but a circling, via the Meadowview Trail, of a nicely developed equestrian area, at one end of which we had a good lunch and then watched as a pair of riders approached.
October 31: Trails through Waid Park Recreation Area. About 6 miles.
With a concert in the evening at Rocky Mount's Harvester Center (the Black Lillies were great; the Turnpike Troubadours almost as good), we headed down into Franklin County in the early afternoon to explore the trails of Waid Park for the first time. We arrived to a parking lot full of horses, their owners and their carriers, as well as a picnic area full of people. We assumed we'd see horses on our walk, but apparently they had all ridden in the morning and were back for lunch before heading home. We set out on the White Trail and walked also on the Green, Red, Orange and Blue, as well as the West Loop, the Wetland and the East Loop, for a very enjoyable afternoon. We ate lunch at what seemed to be the high point of the park--just uphill from the Red Trail loop. And we were back into Rocky Mount in time to walk that entire (very quiet on an early Saturday evening) downtown as well, before dinner at Bootlegger's Cafe with son Adam and his wife Rachel (who didn't have babysitters in us for the night when they found out the semi-geezers had tickets to the show as well), and then the good show. Best Halloween day in years.