Exploring Explore for a Planned Camp

This is a panorama Susan shot at the Niagra Dam station with the Roanoke River’s best rapids flowing below.
Explore has yerts, tents and cabins for rent.
The cabins form a small village.

Over the weekend, my friend Susan and I visited the Explore Park in Roanoke County in order for her to make a reservation for a campsite she wants to visit for her birthday. During her stay, she plans to enjoy the amenities (kayaking the river, hiking the trails, getting in the middle of the zip lines and canopy hikes and even eating dinner at the Brugh Tavern). I’ve been invited to visit her during this time and I suspect I will.

Children of all ages challenge the tree-top courses.

We didn’t expect to spend the day at Explore, but we wound up hiking and touring for several hours, including taking a side tour to the Niagra Dam on the Blue Ridge Park, which is nearby.

Here is a look at some of what we found.

The climbing obstacles are creative.
The kids climb and dodge at the same time.
Susan photographing the smaller kids’ climbing venue.
This abandoned cabin gives a view of a different age.
A small snake left his skin behind at the cabin
The roof has its own ecosystem.
Wind recently damaged the flu at the old grist mill.
Kayakers and tubers enjoy the Roanoke River.
I don’t know if this guy is edible, but mushrooms sure are pretty.
Susan poses at Niagra Dam.
This looks like a time in the distant past at the dam.
Niagra Dam in all its fullness.
The Roanoke River below the dam has some nice rapids.

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Dan Smith is an award-winning journalist in Roanoke, Va., and a member of the Virginia Communications Hall of Fame. He is an author, photographer, essayist, father and grandfather. Co-founder of Valley Business FRONT magazine and founder of the Roanoke Regional Writers Conference. On Advisory Board of New River Voice.

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