We're nearing the completion of a new Master Plan for Explore Park. The final documents will be presented to Roanoke County's Board of Supervisor within the coming weeks, and posted on this site at that time. For now, here's a preview of what you'll see. The downloadable map shown here outlines a flexible long-term amenities plan for the facility.
For Residents – We plan to be the starting place for individuals and families seeking adventure and enrichment outdoors. Our focus will be preserving and expanding recreation opportunities such as hiking/biking trails, boat access to the Roanoke River, overnight camping and educational programs based on the park’s environmental and cultural history – all while preserving the park’s natural beauty.
For Visitors – The Blue Ridge Parkway is already a gateway for many visitors to our region. There are few places on the East Coast that offer such rich outdoor recreation amenities in such close proximity to a metropolitan core. We envision Explore Park as a must-see stop for our guests, inviting them to explore the rest of the valley while they’re here.
For the Economy – Roanoke County will rely heavily on business and community partnerships to build out the park over the next 15-20 years. The master plan includes a business and phasing component to help guide this effort, and we have already begun reaching out to potential partners.
What’s Next? – This summer we have continued to expand our program lineup, as you’ll see in this guide. We’ve transformed the gift shop at the Blue Ridge Parkway Visitor Center to feature a wide array of local crafts, which will be showcased at several special Artisan Saturday events throughout the season. Over the next year, we’re adding activities such as an interactive interpretive trail, a disc golf course, unique educational opportunities and special events. Behind the scenes you’ll see road and utility improvements, enabling us to bring in private sector partners to operate amenities such as a campground and ropes course within the next several years. With a master plan in place, continued community support, and new partnerships to facilitate its development, Explore Park is well positioned to thrive as a destination for exploration!
Throughout the months of September and October, a survey was posted on this site to gain additional community input for the Explore Park master plan. We're excited to have received 1,137 responses!
Last fall we collected public feedback about the future of Explore Park, speaking to approximately 230 individuals at four public meetings and twelve stakeholder groups. See a summary below of information collected at these meetings: