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Tinker Ridge/Hay Rock Overlook

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Star Star Star Star Star

Distance: 3.9 miles


Tinker Ridge Trail crosses Tinker Creek, which is the site depicted in Annie Dillard's "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek," then ascends Tinker Ridge providing the most spectacular views of Carvins Cove Reservoir and the Roanoke Valley.
  • Hop the barrier
  • Well-worn trail
  • Opens to a wide field
  • Head left
  • First white blaze
  • Bridge
  • White blaze
  • Trail is wet and sloshy
  • Trail crosses and continues over railroad tracks
  • White blazes, slight incline
  • Roanoke Appalachian Trail Management Area
  • Reward #1
  • Steep, rooty incline
  • Reward #2
  • AT markers may be on rocks and gates
  • View from the rocks
  • Beautiful pine straw trail
  • Excellent rock croppings
  • Sign says
  • Left at this white blaze
  • Reach out
  • Head left for beautiful photos!
  • Reward #3
  • HayRock.JPG

Tinker Ridge Trail crosses Tinker Creek, which is the site depicted in Annie Dillard's "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek," then ascends Tinker Ridge providing the most spectacular views of Carvins Cove and the Roanoke Valley.

  • Appalachian Trail
  • Moderate difficulty
  • 8 mile round trip, out and back hike
  • 15 minutes from downtown Roanoke
Ideal for:
  • strong and steady hikers
  • bird and small wildlife lovers
  • families with older children
  • a quiet stroll
Directions to the trailhead
  • From Roanoke - take I-81 north to exit 150B
  • Bear right off the exit ramp to the traffic light
  • Turn right at the traffic light onto Rt. 220N (towards Fincastle)
  • Pass under I-81 and turn left almost immediately onto Rt. 816 and turn left into the Park and Ride lot
Trail description
  • From the Park and Ride lot, cross Rt. 816, go around the guard rail which is blocking an abandoned road
  • Follow this old road up the hill for 0.2 miles to intersection with Appalachian Trail
  • Bear left onto the Appalachian Trail heading south.  Follow the white blaze marks on trees
  • After approximately 2 miles you will reach the ridge line and views of Carvins Cove reservoir
  • Retrace your steps for your return trip

Add On
  • Stop by Ikenberry Orchards (north on 220) to buy local produce or visit the farmer's market on Saturdays during the months of April - October (9:00 AM - 1:00 PM)
  • Ready for some food?  How about the best BBQ in the Roanoke Valley?  Just over the hill on 220 North in the Botertourt Commons is Three Lil' Pigs.  So good a former president ate there. (540.996.0165)
  • Need a souvenir to commemorate your hike? Continue on 220N for 0.5 miles to Outdoor Trails - a local outdoor store (540.992.5850)
  • Go see a baseball game!  The Salem Red Sox schedule can be found at www.salemsox.com or by calling 540.389.3333

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