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Poverty Creek Trail



7.3 mile 11.7 kilometer point to point
95% Runnable


Ascent: 700' 213 m
Descent: -872' -266 m
High: 2,328' 710 m
Low: 2,055' 626 m


Avg Grade: 4% (2°)
Max Grade: 17% (10°)


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Trail shared by Roanoke Outside

A generally level trail that is the spine of the Poverty Creek Trail System.

Roanoke Outside

Features Birding · Fall Colors · River/Creek · Wildlife

There are many "unauthorized" trails that have been created over the years. It is recommended that you only travel on trails that have signposts at their trailheads.


Directions to Trailhead: From Blacksburg, VA take 460W for ~three miles. As you leave Blacksburg, you'll drive up a large mountain and as you come down the backside be in the left lane. At the bottom, turn left to access Pandapas Pond. Make an immediate left into the main parking lot (for bikes, horses, etc.) or continue straight to access the Pandapas Pond day-use picnic area and restroom facilities (no bike/horses allowed).

The trail is multi-use and is great for hiking, running, horseback riding, mountain biking, or just enjoying a picnic at the Pandapas Pond day area. The trail is an out-and-back, which means that you can turn around whenever you want. The trail is 7.1 miles one way. By accessing the trails that branch off of Poverty Creek Trail, you can can easily spend an entire day making various loops in this trail system.

Poverty Creek Trail (marked with orange blazes) is the main trail at Pandapas Pond that runs along the valley floor and is one of the easier trails in the trail system at least until its intersection with Trillium Trail 4.25 miles from the Upper Parking Lot. The trail has many rolling slopes, though runs generally downhill, at least until it crosses over FS Rd 708 and intersects with the Trillium Trail. After that intersection, the trail climbs for around 300' before eventually dumping out on FS Rd 708. From here you can either return the way you came or run FS Rd 708 in either direction.

For loop planning purposes, starting from the Upper Parking Lot, you'll intersect the:
Woods & Field Trail at 0.7 miles
Wetlands & Pond Trail at 0.8 miles
Joe Pye Trail at 0.85 miles
Royale Trail at 1.2 miles
Snake Root Trail at 1.45 miles
May Apple Trail at 2.45 miles
Jacobs Ladder Trail at 2.55 miles
Queen Anne Trail at 2.9 miles
Trillium Trail at 4.25 miles
Indian Pipe Trail at 5.2 miles

This is a shared trail with mountain bikers and horses. Keep a heads up and the earbuds out to listen for mountain bikers speeding down the hills. When encountering a horse, it is proper etiquette to step off the trail to the downhill side and stop until the horse has passed. Also, be sure to wear bright colors during hunting season (October 1st through the first week of January). And be friendly; say "hi" to other folks out enjoying the forest! And check out the Poverty Creek Trail Coalition on Facebook to see about opportunities to give back and do some trail service!

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Photos, Need to Know, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes


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Mar 28, 2018
Leanna Cantrell

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