Do you want to experience your nature surrounding, but don’t know where to start or are not motivated to yourself and would rather hiking with a group of people who share the same interest? Well Roanoke Park and Recreation Center has a solution for you, with the Seven Summits in Seven Week hiking experience going on right now. Currently I contacted the Roanoke Park and Recreation Center, in hopes to get information about how they are trying to get the community involved in nature while emphasizing outdoors and natural resources around us, what events they were going to do in the future to help farther these goals, and what they hope to get out of these events in terms of community help and involvement. Shortly after asking these questions, the Roanoke Times Newspaper wrote an article about the Seven Summit in Seven Weeks Challenge event this center is holding starting at the beginning of September and ending at the middle of October, http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/314504.
If you want to participate in one of the goals of Roanoke Park and Recreation Center goals for this event/challenge: Ensuring that the Roanoke Region’s nature beauty doesn’t get forgotten here is the schedule and a little about each of the mountains you will be hiking.
Week #1: (Sept. 6-9): Mill Mountain:Located less than 5 minutes from downtown Roanoke, the trails at Mill Mountain Park are some of the best in the area. The trails feature Roanoke’s highest point – the summit of Mill Mountain (1703 ft.) and the Roanoke Star. (Virginia Blue Ridge Roanoke Valley).
Week #2: (Sept. 13-15): Poor Mountain:a ridge of high peaks located in Roanoke County, Virginia and Montgomery County, Virginia. At 3,928 feet, Poor Mountain is the tallest mountain in the immediate area. (Wikipedia) The world’s largest population of the globally rare shrub piratebush, which is restricted to only a handful of sites in the mountains of Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina. (Roanoke7Summits.com)
Week #3: (Sept. 20-23): Read Mountain:250-acre Preserve is located on the southern side of Read Mountain and features a 1.9 mile trail to a rocky overlook just below the summit called Buzzard Rocks. (SummitPost.org). Roanoke County’s newest and largest park.
Week #4: (Sept. 27-30):Brushy Mountain:located just north of Roanoke in the Carvins Cove Nature Reserve. Carvins Cove Nature Reserve is one of the largest municipal parks in the nation. It holds a major water source for the region within its 12,700 acres and overflowing recreational opportunities including over 40 miles of hiking and biking. (Roanoke7Summits.com)
Week #5: (Oct. 4-7): Dragons Tooth:One of my favorite hikes! an aptly named rock monolith of Tuscarora quartzite straddling Craig and Roanoke Counties just west of Catawba, VA. It stands out on it’s own at the top of Cove Mountain (Wikipedia). This is not just hiking up mountains on a trail but involves climbing up rock faces and using metal rods in the rocks to climb.
Week #6: (Oct. 11-14): Tinker Cliffs: From the trail head take the yellow blazed Andy Lane trail for about 3.1 miles to the intersection with the Appalachian trail (Trimbleoutdoors.com)
Week #7: (Oct. 18-21): McAfee Knob: has an almost 270 degree panorama of the Catawba Valley and North Mountain to the West, Tinker Cliffs to the North and the Roanoke Valley to the East. ( Hikingupward.com). Most beautiful spot in Virginia!
If only I was not a busy MBA student currently, I would definitely be using these opportunity to explore outdoors and trails I did not know about or even how to get there. From others perspectives during doing this challenge, people of loving this event and really using it to advances. Susan Kilmar, a participate interviewed in the Roanoke Times said “That’s the thing about exercise, if you go out on your own it can be grueling but when you go with other people, you’re talking, socializing, and all of a sudden it’s done.” This is an excellent opinion of this experience in my opinion, as she said it is not just exercise it is the experience as whole, with can be very therapeutic!
To register for one or more of these events, to join the guided hiking trips which are offered three times per week, Thursday, Saturday or Sunday, go to http://www.roanoke7summits.com/, or just feel free to give a comment about your opinion of this opportunity on their blog.
* Pictures found on Google.