Roaring Run Trail

Roaring Run is a great hiking trail located about 27 miles outside of Roanoke. It’s well-marked and very easy to hike, The whole trail is only 1.7 miles out-and-back but there are quite a few things packed into that short trip. The path is well-maintained and the sound of the rushing water and the sites that follow are not to be missed. Here are a few of the sites we saw on our trip.

The Entrance

Roaring run trail entrance

As you enter you will have two choices: the Woodland Trail or the Streamside Trail. Both trails will get you to beautiful Roaring Run Falls but we chose the Woodland trail to go out and the Streamside Trail on the way back. On the Streamside Trail there are incredible bridges that pass over Roaring Run Creek and the soothing sound of water rushing beside you. The woodland Trail will grant you some of these awesome sites.

Woodland Trail

The foundry at roaring run

The first site of note is an example of pioneering engineering. This old iron furnace was once very active and the signs there will give you a little history lesson as well as teach you how they used to smelt iron back in olden days.

Scenic Overlook

Scenic Overlook at Roaring run falls

This was perhaps the greatest sight along the way. Pictures don’t do it justice. It was truly breathtaking. There is a little outcropping that you can take pictures on as well. Just be sure to watch out for the little ones. It is a long way down and you don’t want them venturing to close to the edge of the cliff.

Natural Water Slide

Natural water slide at Roaring Run Falls

At lower levels, the creek has a natural water slide. The day we went it was way too cold but I have heard that if the weather is warm, it is quite a thrill. I will have to go back and try it out when the weather is warmer. If you have had a chance to go there, leave a comment down below. If you like fishing there are plenty of places to fish as well. We saw all sorts of people stationed along the creek on the way up there.

The two trails converge a little bit before you get to the falls. The falls themselves are not for playing in the water. The rocks are slick and there were signs warning us to be careful and not to venture out above the falls.

The Falls

Roaring Run Falls

The final place you reach is the falls themselves. No matter which way you travel there it will be great. I recommend the Woodland Trail there and the Streamside Trail back. The reason being that you can look up at the rock outcropping on the way back with a new perspective having been up there on the first part of your hike.

This was a nice easy hike that was loaded with really great sites. Definitely great for families but even seasoned hikers will find it refreshing. It also has picnic tables with grills and toilets so if you want to pack a lunch and make a day of it you can be sure that you will have the facilities you need.


These directions are from Roanoke. You can adapt these for where you are coming from. Personally, I headed out there from Lynchburg and just used my GPS. Roaring Run Loop Trail is about 70 miles from Lynchburg. We took 460 out there and picked up the road below once we reached the outskirts of Roanoke.

From Roanoke – Take I-81 and get off at Exit 150B to US-220 N. Turn left at SR 615 and go 5.5 miles. Turn right onto SR 621 and go 1 mile to Roaring Run entrance, which will be on the left. The trip should take about 40 minutes (27.5 miles) from I-81

Enjoy and have a pleasant and safe trip.

~ Jim

2 thoughts on “Roaring Run Trail”

  1. This is very handy for people who are social distancing and really want a new place to explore, if I get out that way, I would love to try it!

    • It is a short and easy hike to make, but very beautiful. We were pleasantly surprised. The pictures from the overhead view don’t do justice to the actual site. The Woodland Trail part of the loop was really quite amazing.


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