Retire-VA 2021 - 23

10

HIKES

for the Senior Crowd
WRITTEN AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY DAN SMITH

The pandemic has limited recreation for all of us, but we can still hike close to home, regardless of our age.

T

HE ROANOKE VALLEY IS QUITE SIMPLY flush with
hiking trails for all levels of conditioning, age and ambition. Mill
Mountain alone has nine distinct trails, most of which intersect,

offering challenges from very easy to difficult.
McAfee's Knob and Dragon's Tooth are internationally famous trails with a
degree of difficulty that encourages veteran hikers, discourages those out of
shape. But if you simply want to take a walk, there are plenty of alternatives for you.
Herewith are 10 hikes of various distances and difficulties, any of which should appeal to
our aging population.
Let's begin with Fern Park, which rests comfortably in South Roanoke and borders Mill
Mountain Park. It is not part of the Mill Mountain trail system but the upper part of the
trail connects to Mill Mountain's Ridgeline Trail and ultimately the Blue Ridge Parkway's
Campground Trails and Chestnut Ridge Trails. You can select your length and degree of
difficulty with this scenic smorgasbord.
Virginia Pine Trail is tucked away in a cul de sac in Garden City and by itself is just under
a mile loop of easy trail. However, if you connect it with Woodthrush Trail, part of the Mill
Mountain system, you come out with a nicely challenging hike of just over two miles through

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Retire-VA 2021

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