Read Mountain Buzzard Rocks Loop
4 Mile Loop Perfect for hikers needing a quick fix, the Read Mountain Preserve is located less than 10 miles from Roanoke and within 5 minutes of I-81. The Preserve encompasses: 243 acres sprawled across the eastern flank and summit of Read Mountain. This 4-mile loop with a elevation gain of 1150 feet follows the Blue Blazed Buzzards Rock trail to a cluster of boulders at the top of Read Mountain (elevation 2350) where we’ll have a mid morning snack. From the parking lot the trail crosses a small meadow then starts a gentle, forested ascent. The trail switchbacks steadily up the mountain, skipping over tiny creeks and up stone steps built by the RATC. You’ll catch a tree-framed view of downtown Roanoke at the southern end of the trail just below the ridgeline. A final stroll across the mountain’s spine leads to Buzzards Rock. (On less crowded days, one might startle a buzzard or two from their roost.) We’ll take a slightly different route back to the parking lot.
Remember: A daypack, sturdy hiking shoes, windbreaker/raingear, water, snacks, whistle, compass (always a good idea) i’ll supply maps, enthusiasm required, dogs are welcome.
MORE INFO: Read Mountain Preserve – See more at: http://www.backpacker.com/trips/virginia/read-mountain-preserve-va-buzzards-rock/#bp=0/img1