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Four Activities for Warm Weather

With the winter weather fast departing and summer right around the corner, you may be wondering what sorts of outdoors activities this area has to offer. If you’re searching for something to do outside, here are some ideas that may help:

1. Cascades

In the mood for taking a hike?  Try going to the Cascades.  Located only thirty minutes from Virginia Tech in Pembroke, Virginia’s National Jefferson forest, the Cascades possibly contain the area’s most beautiful waterfalls and currents.  When you arrive, you have the choice of taking two different trails.  The Lower Trail sticks close to Little Stony Creek, and provides visitors with many scenic views, as well as winding steps.  The Upper Trail is farther away from the creek, but is mostly a dirt path and much easier to navigate.  But whichever path you take, you’ll end up at the Cascades, a gorgeous waterfall that empties into a pool of cool water that you can relax and refresh yourself in before heading back.  The total hike is around four miles, and low to medium difficulty. So, even though it sounds tiring, with all the stops you’ll be making to look at the scenery, it’s worth the trip.

2. Blue Ridge Parkway

If you don’t mind making a bit of a drive to Roanoke, try visiting the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Here, the amount  and range of activities you do are up to you.  Drive along the Parkway, and you’ll come across various overlooks that show breathtaking views of the area, and access to hiking trails.  For those who don’t want to go on a long hike, the Parkway offers many shorter trails around one mile long or less, with some going to the top of a mountain or to some waterfalls.  But for the more adventurous, there are longer trails as long as ten miles round trip. If you’re into camping, the Parkway also has various campsites to choose from.  You can follow the Parkway for as long as you want, just make sure you get an area map before you go!
3. Smith Mountain Lake
There’s a reason that Hokie Camp is at Smith Mountain Lake, and that’s because the lake has so much to offer!  There are a variety of water sports here to engage in, including canoeing, kayaking, wakeboarding and swimming.  As for off water activities, you can also go picnicking, golfing, camping, shopping or sightseeing.  You can also visit the miniature golf courses, eat at the numerous restaurants around the area, or just chill on some of the public beaches.  Before heading back to Blacksburg, definitely make a stop at Homestead Creamery in Wirtz, Virginia and get some of the best ice cream around!

4. Farmers Market

Is it a Wednesday or Saturday and you want to stay around campus?  Go to the Farmers Market, held in Blacksburg’s Market Square next to the 7-Eleven.  There’s something for everyone at the Farmers Market, with booths selling organic and homemade food products, to crafts such as pottery and furniture.  Some other notable items that have also been sold here include fried pies, homemade soaps, and cake balls.  Hours for Wednesday are from 2pm-7pm, and Saturday 8am-2pm.

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