(Continued from the
previous page about our "spring
Despite all the rain and the wide variance in temperatures in the
Roanoke area this spring, Jim and I were able to get out on our favorite
trails several times a week.
Two of the other trails in the Vinton-Roanoke area that are
fairly convenient to our house for running, hiking, and cycling are the
Wolf Creek Greenway and the Stewart's Knob Trail. I've spent more time
on those trails the last six weeks than at Explore.
Dogwoods in bloom near the
playground in Stonebridge Park;
the bridge is one of several over
Wolf Creek. (4-13-11)
I'll feature photos from Wolf Creek in this entry and Stewart's Knob
on the next page so the pictures will load faster.
WOLF CREEK GREENWAY
When the greenway system is eventually completed in the Roanoke
Valley it will include 50 miles or more of paved and dirt trails that
are all connected. That hasn't happened yet.
Right now there are at least half a dozen shorter trails around the
city that don't connect with each other. One of the problems is right of
way; another problem is bridging the Roanoke River, which looks
benign most of the year when it's running shallow but can become a
behemoth after heavy rains. It costs a lot of money to build pedestrian
bridges to span that river.
New pedestrian bridge over the Roanoke River
between Wasena and Vic Thomas Parks. (11-3-10)
The longest stretch is about ten miles along the Roanoke River closer
to downtown Roanoke. I showed some pictures from it in the last entry
(and the picture above).
The other segment we like is closer to our house -- the wide
dirt pedestrian and bike path that follows about three miles of Wolf
Creek in the Vinton area. It begins at Hardy Road and ends at the Blue Ridge
Parkway, traversing Goode and Stonebridge parks in the middle.
Above and below: dogwoods
in bloom on either side of another bridge
over Wolf Creek in Stonebridge
This is a hillier, more shady path than the river greenway. We much
prefer its softer surface for running and hiking than the paved river
greenway. Although it crosses two residential streets, it's farther from
any traffic and noise (factories, trains) than the river greenway. Not
as many people use this greenway, either.
One of the most scenic sections of this trail is in Stonebridge Park.
There are two wooden bridges over the creek; the longest one is
shown in the last two photos above and several more below. Note all the
pretty white dogwood trees in bloom.
I took the next two photos on April 12 and 13 when the creek was
After a good rain, I took the next three pictures on April
The Wolf Creek Greenway has many scenic spots along the creek, through
the trees, and past some horse pastures between Stonebridge Park and the
Blue Ridge Parkway.
Over the past seven years it's been fun to watch the half dozen horses
that graze in a large field a quarter mile from the Parkway. They aren't
always this close to the greenway. When they are, I make a point to talk
with them and pet them if they come over to the fence:
One of the horse pastures along Wolf Creek
Jim likes to pet them, too:
For the last two years it's been very interesting to watch what's going
on at the property across the path from that large pasture.
Someone purchased an old house on this very hilly piece of land and has
done a great job renovating it. In fact, it is on a home tour this
weekend (the Barfield House). The new owners cut down some of the trees,
contoured the dirt, built a barn and some other out-buildings, and put
up a handsome fence:
The family owns several horses. Before moving into the renovated house,
they let two
large horses graze on the property.
While we were gone over the winter those horses were moved to a field across the road (not shown)
and two Shetland ponies have taken up residence next to the
There are also two curious goats in this field:
I know less about goats than horses so I haven't tried to pet one of
them -- not with those pointy horns! They're fun to watch, though.
Look carefully at the next photo:
That is one of the goats lying on a picnic table at the top of the hill!
This is how lush the farm looked on May 6 with all the leaves out:
Photos continued on the
next page . . .
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil,
and Cody the Ultra Lab
© 2011 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil