I don’t know about you but seeing raptor birds in the wild has always given me a certain thrill. Find a Bald Eagle in it’s natural habitat has always been on my bucket list and now someone has shown me a place around Blacksbug to find these birds and so much more! I have yet to go but I hope someone checks this out because it looks AMAZING!
What: Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory
Where: Monroe County, near the Allegheny Trail, a map with driving directions to get to the trail can be found here: http://www.hangingrocktower.org/map.htm
Cost: FREE!!! Just be prepared for the 20-40 min. hike to get to the look out post
Be Prepared! There is no electricity, running water, or bathroom (only outhouse) at the post but, this is no different then if you were hiking elsewhere.
Bring: Water, binoculars, hat, sunscreen, food, sunglasses, etc.
What will I find? An amazing view of diverse species of Raptors as they migrate on their eastern route! The elevation of the site is 3812 feet! Common sights are eagles, hawks, falcons and ospreys especially through the months of August to November…. so RIGHT NOW!!
Check out more about this place at their website: http://www.hangingrocktower.org/
Report back if you see anything amazing! In the meantime I have pulled off pictures directly from the the Hanging Rock Tower website to give you an idea of what you might see!
If you are a Hokie you have heard of the Cascades… this is a right of passage so it simply must be done! Very close to Blacksburg the Cascades is a hike up to one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the area. The trail is 4 miles round trip, but there are plenty of things to see on the way to the top if you only feel like going half way. One of the best parts of the trail is that there are actually two paths that you can choose between to get there. One goes right along the streams and is a minimal challenge but you do have to work your way around numerous rock type staircases. There is an easier alternative which is just a dirt path to the top which was absolutely great for my parents or those who want to take it a little bit easier. Not a lot of parking, so be sure to car pool. Otherwise you gotta do it. Also I have been there both in the winter and the summer and either way the surrounding woods and waterfall are beautiful!!
Go retro for a date and go to a different type of theater nearby in Christiansburg. Honestly I have never been there myself but I have heard that it is a Hokie must! Throughout the summer they hold movies every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The first movie starts at dusk and is followed by a second feature. Check the website to see what is playing. This is such a great deal and awesome way to mix up the weekend. Only bad side is that they only take cash so be prepared!!
Cost: Adults $6, Children (under 12) $4
Where: 275 Starlight Drive, Christiansburg, VA 24073
When: Check the website for time updates and to see what is playing
Address: 5753 West Main Street Salem, VA 24153 (Exit 132 directly off I-81)
Phone #:(540) 380-2085
Tour Time: Approx 45min
Hours: Times vary so check the website….
Price: $12 for adults, $6 for children
Great little cave, and apparently the only one in SW Virginia. When we went there was only us and another couple so it was very low-key but, kind of nice since it felt like we were on a personal tour. It was fall and there were bats on the cave wall that almost looked like stuffed animals because they were hibernating and ‘frozen’ onto the wall.
The formations were very unique. There was one shaped like a hokie and a wedding party. Their most famous formation is their ‘Wedding Bell’ which according to our tour guide, numerous weddings have been preformed underneath. While waiting for the tour to start there is a great homey shop filled with mostly antiques. But there is also an entire section dedicated to rocks and minerals which if you are a nerd like me, you will go crazy for as well. Great adventure for the day.
McAfee Knob Hike- Catawba VA
Approx. Time: 4 Hours
This hike takes FOREVER!!! But it is 100% worth the view at the top. Of all the beautiful areas on the Appalachian Trail, McAfee Knob is easily one of the most photographed.
For More Information please look at http://www.hikingupward.com/JNF/McAfeeKnob/