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Plan a Trip

The Roanoke Valley is full of great places to visit and tons of things to see and do! Prepare for an unforgettable adventure on the Roanoke River Blueway with our comprehensive ‘Plan a Trip’ page. It’s your go-to resource for crafting the perfect river experience. Explore access points and use our maps to plan your paddle or fishing adventure. With real-time water updates and safety tips, enjoy a secure trip. Our guide ensures a smooth experience for both family outings and solo journeys, covering trip prep to local wildlife and fishing rules. Let us guide you through the Roanoke River’s beauty and thrills, ensuring memorable moments on the water. Start planning your adventure in Virginia’s Blue Ridge today.

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Water Safety

Ensuring your safety on the Roanoke River Blueway is our top priority. Adequate preparation and awareness are key. Always wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket, check current water levels, and be mindful of weather conditions. Equip yourself with properly functioning gear and ensure all participants are adequately skilled for your activities. It’s vital to inform someone of your itinerary, including your start and end points and expected return time. Stay vigilant about your location, respect private property, and avoid disturbing wildlife. By following these guidelines, you help maintain a safe, enjoyable environment for all Blueway users.

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Water Levels

The Roanoke River Blueway website’s ‘Water Level’ page is an invaluable resource for river trip planning. It offers updated and forecasted streamflow data to assess river conditions. Higher flows lend themselves better to whitewater paddling, with rapids up to Class II forming when discharges exceed 5,000 cubic feet per second. Lower summer flows create ideal conditions for flatwater paddling and angling. However, dangerously high flood levels can occur following heavy rains. Being aware of the streamflow conditions allows visitors to plan their river activities accordingly and avoid hazards. This page provides links to USGS and NOAA resources for real-time water level data, allowing users to make well-informed decisions for a safe and enjoyable river experience.

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Access Points

The Roanoke River Blueway offers 17 access points managed by local, state, federal, and private entities. These access points vary in amenities, including parking, trash receptacles, information kiosks, canoe/kayak ramps, restrooms, picnic shelters, and multi-use trails. The access point page provides maps and necessary information for each access point. It’s important for users to respect private property and use only designated public access points. The page also offers guidance on minimum recommended streamflows for each point, ensuring safe and enjoyable river experiences. Users are encouraged to refer to the maps page for comprehensive access and related maps, ensuring a well-informed Blueway adventure.

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About Us

The Roanoke River Blueway offers a unique combination of urban, front-country, and back-country recreation opportunities in the upper Roanoke River watershed. Discover the Roanoke River Blueway, a 45-mile water trail weaving through urban and wilderness landscapes from East Montgomery County Park to Smith Mountain Lake. It’s not just a river journey – it’s an exploration of the unique communities along the way, including Roanoke, Salem, and various counties. Perfect for kayaking, fishing, or soaking in the views, this trail links you to local parks and greenways, offering a diverse outdoor experience. At its core is the Blueway Committee, a dedicated team from local governments enhancing this treasure for recreational access and environmental conservation. Learn more about their role and the Blueway’s beauty.