top of page


Roanoke Appalachian news

Focus on Trail Safety

After a man fell 50 ft from the McAfee Knob overlook and later died of his injuries, there has been a renewal of publicity centered around trail safety. No one knows for sure why, but the 23 year old appeared to slump over and pass-out before plunging off the ledge he was sitting. Friends at the scene as well as others can only speculate about the particular causes in this incident, but it does underscore the need to be aware of safety practices for anyone hiking the great outdoors. This was again exemplified in an incident at the Peaks of Otter, Sharp Top, where a lady needed to be rescued, apparently due to severe dehydration.

Traveling or hiking into the great outdoors seems fun or even exhilarating, but it's more than a walk in the park and a place with considerably more challenges. Careful consideration as to what to bring and clothing to wear must coordinate with the desired journey. Simple things such as food, water and appropriate foot-gear are obvious but many minor things such as scissors or first aid might become handy, as well as other items. Being aware of one's surroundings is also a must in the wilderness. Watch Don Defreeze explain some in this interview on WFXR Channel 27 Roanoke. Remember, if you're hiking alone, let someone know where you're going, or better yet, use a trail guide like Don for safety.

Long-Term Hiker found Deceased in Tent

A long-term hiker who had serious medical disadvantages has been found dead in a tent along the Appalachian Trail near Damascus, VA. Michael Lombardo, 55, was an avid hiker who preferred to complete sections of the famous trail in his plan to complete the whole length. Mr. Lombardo was suffering from some serious medical barriers including loss of one eye, an amputated arm and major loss of muscle in one of his legs. His determination to continue fulfilling his goals and continue hiking with all those physical issues led to his nickname "tough-as-nails." There seems to be no foul play in his demise. The man was known to be very kind  with an indestructible desire to finish the hike, attributes we can all respect.


Roanoke Kayakers Get Park

Kayaking is a rapidly growing activity in Roanoke as well as elsewhere. With limited places to go kayaking, a channel is planned to be constructed in the Roanoke River for just that purpose and will be a pleasing asset for all. The water park route is to be woven into the river in the Wasena Park area of the city. It seems that funding is in place and the course should be completed by 2026. According to sources, this water park will be usable to all levels of ability and even those that just want to go tubing.

If you are currently looking for a great place to go kayaking near Roanoke, we suggest going to Carvins Cove Reservoir. Yes, you can rent a kayak there and the lake is huge with great distances to paddle and many niches to explore. This video was taken during one of our Excihiking tours. Carvins Cove is within a few driving minutes of anywhere in the Roanoke Valley. The dock location can be accessed off Route 11 north of Hollins, at the end of Reservoir Road. You won't believe how remote it is and so close to Roanoke!

bottom of page