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Carvins Cove Route



12.4 mile 19.9 kilometer loop
95% Runnable


Ascent: 1,271' 387 m
Descent: -1,270' -387 m
High: 1,620' 494 m
Low: 1,198' 365 m


Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 38% (21°)


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Trail shared by Roanoke Outside

Carvins Cove is the 2nd largest municipal park in the nation and a mountain biking, hiking, and equestrian paradise.

Roanoke Outside

Features Fall Colors · Lake · Views · Wildflowers

A $2 parking pass is required and can be purchased at any trailhead via self-pay system.


This route is chock-full of both relatively flat, low-lying trails and steep climbs with equally difficult descents. If you don't like singletrack, there's a seven-mile fire road around most of the park, which offers similar solitude and scenery with fewer obstacles. 

There are over 60 miles of trails at Carvins Cove. This mapped route will give you a good overview of the trail system.


This long run will give you plenty of time to ponder and consider the world around you. The route is popular with cyclists, so keep an ear out for them! 

This route is a long loop run, but covers a wide variety of the terrain available at Carvins. You'll start out on the Happy Valley trail, which is a gentle and rolling way to warm up. Keep an eye out on the left for the Songbird trail, which is where you'll get your first bit of climbing. The trail meanders through the woods, making for a very pleasant trip. The way is shaded, and is especially lovely in the fall. The trail will start to descend, and will continue dropping until about the three-mile mark.

From there, you'll cross over the Happy Valley trail on your way to Tuck-A-Way via the Enchanted Forest West connector. Once you're on Tuck-A-Way, you'll begin climbing in earnest. Though grades are manageable, the sustained climb will have your heart pumping.

Keep left at the intersection, where the Kerncliff trail will lead to the east. This next section is optional, adding a few more miles, but excellent reservoir views to your trip. At the end of Kerncliff, you'll encounter a steep and potentially loose descent to Araminta. Use caution here, and sprinkle in breaks as you need to!

From Araminta, you'll start your return route towards the parking area by first passing through the Hemlock Tunnel. This route is scenic and enjoyable, so take your time admiring the local flora and fauna here!

Take a left onto Kerncliff again, and this time head northwest. There will be an intersection shortly for the Four Gorge Extension, and if you hop on that route, you'll be headed back to your car! The Four Gorge trail comes up soon after, and from there it's a rolling route to finish the route.

Grab a beer at Parkway Brewing Company.
Hungry but not ready to head inside? Head to Mac & Bob’s Restaurant on Main St. in Salem which was voted Best Outdoor Dining (540.389.5999)
Grab some picnic supplies and head to Valhalla Vineyards (540.725.9463)
Explore Roanoke’s premiere art museum – the Taubman Museum of Art (540.342.5760)

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Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes, History & Background


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