Fruit of the piratebush, one of the rarest shrubs in the Eastern mountains.
The recently cut trails in the preserve illustrate with just about every step of the walk the mammoth work of trail building. The cuts of steep hillsides, the stone steps, the switchbacks and the simple bed of the pathway can all be a wonder to behold when you take a few minutes, as we do far too seldom, to appreciate those who have made it possible for us to walk here.
These are not hard trails, and the rewards – views west, a small falls and the rare piratebush– are all relatively modest. But the presence of another new place to walk right here in the Roanoke Valley is of wonderful and valuable.
Even if the stated mileages here, as seems to be the case again and again in Nature Preserves, make you wonder if they're measuring kilometers and stating miles.
Trails of the Poor Mountain Natural Area Preserve. About 5 miles.
How to get there: From U.S. 221 south out of Roanoke, right on Va. 694 to the parking lot.