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Sept, 2020

Roanoke Appalachian news

McAfee Knob Trail Upgrade

Hiking the Appalachian Trail has its hazards, but in the opinion of many, the most dangerous point of the hike to McAfee Knob is the very beginning when crossing Rt 311 and its hurried traffic. The road rounds the curve of a hill which creates a blind spot for hikers to observe oncoming traffic. Duly, a pedestrian bridge has been decided to be constructed. Full details have not been etched in stone, but it is scheduled to be started in 2024 and finalized a year later. If you have any aesthetic ideas for the structure, there's still time to add yours. As I can attest, crossing 311 puts any hiker on high alert. I have always directed others to listen for any vehicle before crossing, but a bridge would make safe transit a cinch.

Roanoke

As we all know, most festivals and events were canceled this summer. I call it the summer without a summer. However, there are some things coming to life this fall.  The Taubman Museum will sponsor events and so will the Mill Mountain Theatre and Dr Pepper Park. Though concerts are not scheduled, some outdoor events at the Berglund Center have been developed. I'd keep checking its website for more events not on the calendar at this time. As pandemic conditions improve, I wouldn't be surprised if many more events are added. Another directory worth checking is the downtown event calendar which highlights those things that can be attended at this time. Roanoke is still a great place to visit and I encourage those looking for a distraction from the tense world of today to make Roanoke a pleasant destination.

Parks & Recreation

The Blue Ridge Parkway is still closed south of Explore Park which means you can access the park from the north or route 24. There is still no schedule for the re-opening of the closed sections of the Blue Ridge Parkway. You can check the parkway website for more up to date info.

Fall Foliage Forecast

Intensity and when fall colors will peak is a tricky forecast at best. There are certain places where colors are best every year at a fairly predictable timeline, but the general score of the season includes many variables and actual fall conditions. As for this year, many of the criteria leading to a decent fall color season have been met, the most important being ample summer rain. Even more good news, a solid cool-down is predicted for the middle of September which may help prep forests to usher normal color changes this year. In the event we don't have too much or too little rain this fall and temperatures aren't extreme, too hot or cold, the chances of a superior foliage season are possible. Average peak in this region normally occurs mid to late October, book your hiking tour with us now!

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