Retire VA 2019 - 38

blueways (James, Staunton and New
Rivers, Smith Mountain Lake and several
others).
The quality of walking here, though, is
the capstone. Mike Kennedy, an architect
and former journalist, likes to hike Bottom
Creek Gorge in nearby Floyd County
because "it's cooler than Roanoke, it
can vary in length and vigor depending
upon which trail you take. There's some
interesting man-made stuff, there's the
reward of an overlook, and most of all, it's
not crowded. McAfee Knob and Dragon's
Tooth have become way too popular. If
I liked people, I wouldn't run off to the
woods to escape them."
Retired Roanoke Gas (RGC) CEO John
Williamson favors Apple Orchard Falls
because it is "a reasonable length hike,
invigorating without causing a heart
attack and during wet spells a breathtaking view of a pristine water fall deep

38 / Retire-VA.com / RETIRE-VA 2020

in the national forest." It's a short drive
from Roanoke, like so many of the popular
mountain trails.
Bob Campbell likes Roaring Run in
Botetourt County because it is "simple,
scenic, just enough exercise, and has a
nice picnic area. It's stocked trout for those
who like to fish." Martha Williams finds
McAfee Knob to be "just right length to feel
accomplishment, great views as a reward."
And if you want to get involved directly
with trails, the Roanoke Appalachian Trail
Club is "a great group of people and there
is always some fun/interesting work to be
done on the trails around Roanoke," says
Marge Spillen.
Whether it's walking, biking, hiking,
dancing, working out in a gym or many
other physical activities, Roanokers feel
like they're far up the ratings list among
cities our size. And the proof is in the
walking.

DAN SMITH

Crabtree
Falls



Retire VA 2019

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