Adventure Run (Chestnut Ridge Loop Trail Run - 5.4 miles)
Submitted by Jack Steehler
Map of Adventure Run - Please wait for it to load!
Introduction: This run is not for the faint hearted.  It is a true trail run, with lovely trails through woods, challenging hill sections, and at least one stretch where the path is washed out and muddy.  It can be truly exhilarating.  The entire loop is "run-able" and a nice change of pace from city streets.  Expect cooler temperatures than down in the valley.

Features: The first mile is gently sloped, traveling through partly open areas.  You go onto Route 672 for several hundred feet, to cross the parkway spur, then turn right back onto trails.  The next mile is hillier, but with some nice long stretches of wide trail.  Behind the campground is mostly switchbacks and has a 1/4 mile long washed out section where the trail is part stream bed.  The last several miles are mature woods trails.

Safety: Don't run alone - the trail is not heavily travelled.  Footing is uneven throughout, although better than most trails.  Some branch trails exist which are not on this map, nor on the trailhead map.  Follow the red blazed trail carefully, checking at any intersection you encounter.  Be aware of downed trees.  When I ran recently, I dodged about 10 trees over the 5.4 mile loop.

Directions: From downtown Roanoke, take Walnut St. toward Mill Mountain.  Walnut becomes the Mill Mountain Parkway Spur.  Go 1.3 miles past the turnoff that leads up to the Star and the zoo.  Park in the Chestnut Ridge Overlook parking lot on the left.  This parking lot can also be accessed from the main Blue Ridge Parkway.  Turn onto the Spur (toward Roanoke), and go 1.1 miles to the Overlook (on right).  Note the proximity of the Campground.

Observe the trailhead map in the parking lot carefully before you begin.  A general sense of where you are going is a big help.  Turn right as you begin the loop run, to head up toward Route 672 first.