Explore the most popular trails in Carvins Cove Natural Reserve with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.


dogs on leash



wild flowers

Did it with my dog on a Wednesday. Didn't see anyone except within a mile of the parking area. I went right up the hill first, then did the rest of the trail. saw lots of deer. one black bear. great hike.

mountain biking
2 months ago

Great ride! Short climbs, fun downhills, nice switchbacks, lots of horse poop lol but awesome ride and gorgeous scenery!

Recently moved here from Florida and this was only our second. Great easy hike for us and our dogs.

mountain biking
over grown
3 months ago

3 months ago

Beautiful hike in the pouring rain. The trail was very soft and slick. Trekking poles came in handy getting over wet rocks and roots and around mud puddles. The horses obviously don't follow leave no trace practices but otherwise the area was very clean. There are a lot of downed trees on the loop back to the parking area. Some are less than head high so cyclists beware. Someone has spent a great deal of time neatly placing rocks to prevent soil erosion where needed. No overlooks on this trail but a very nice woodland hike nonetheless.

perfect for walking my dog

A good trail for beginners and saw considerable wildlife throughout.

Rode bikes down Happy Trail to the 2.5 mile post turned around and came back.

6 months ago

Started at mcafee knob at 330pm. Camped at Campbell shelter around 630pm. Hiked 18-19 miles on Day 2 to a makeshift campsite on north Mountain trail. There are a few decent ones before going straight down to the road. Getting up to the ridge on north mountain trail is tough on the Catawba valley trail. Skipped dragon tooth on day 3 and went straight back to mcafee knob parking lot. Maybe 8-9 miles. Needed water at the gas station just to left on the road once you get down from north mountain. Overall a great hike. Mcafee knob and tinker cliffs are both amazing views. Should’ve started earlier on Day 1 to make Day 2 less strenuous.

Easy trail. Not many sights to see except at the top of the ridge, trail is pretty narrow in places. good for getting out close to home and for dogs to get some excercise.

A pleasant stroll of a trail that follows Carvins Cove. Nothing super notable about it except that it is easily accessible on a day that is too pretty to pass up on not being outside, but you don't want to over commit to anything.

private property
7 months ago

This is a great trail, well blazed and fun. The only negative are the power lines and how loud the crackling is. I'll definitely be back to hike this again.

7 months ago

Did this hike training for a section hike. Did it with 25 lbs on my back and would rate this as a easy to moderate hike. Nothing too steep and no real good views but it is mainly a mountain biking trail. Not bad for being close to Roanoke

8 months ago

Great hike, but not for novice backpackers. Started around 1530 from recommended parking and headed north on AT; climbs aren’t too bad up to Macfee Knob and Tinker cliffs. Crashed near shelter off AT on north side of tinkercliffs (it’s about .6 mi out of your way but it’s got solid water). Arrived around 2030. Next day took off around 0930 and headed up the various trails to chatawba trail (which is a climb); then headed south on North Mountain trail. Which has a fair amount of ups and downs as you traverse the north mountain ridges. Once I got to that road on the south end (might have been 301 or 311, I decided to skip ~3mile detour to dragon tooth and bAnged left on that road. Stopped at gas station/pizza place for a nice slice and some coffee before pushing up to newport rd, banging a right to link back up with AT North. Pushed up through the orchards and up over the mountains until I got back to parking around 2120. Good times

We started at the fishing dock entrance to the trail, and only went so far, as to avoid muddy conditions. It was a nice, easy my hike that kids can do.

9 months ago

This is a lovely area! I hiked from the Hollins side, but with the current muddy conditions and the forecasted rain and snow coming up in the next several days, I'd definitely recommend starting at the boat launch (opposite side from Hollins) and hiking only up to the ridge to avoid the muddiest parts. There is still some mud and water on this side, but not nearly as bad, and really lovely views of the cove the whole way. There is a very nice restroom with flush toilets and sinks at the boat launch parking (also vending machines and a place to rent boats/kayaks). Though not listed on AllTrails, there are 60+ miles of trail in this area, with four different parking areas. Check out this link for more info: https://www.roanokeoutside.com/land/carvins-cove-nature-reserve/ $3/person fee applies to both the boat launch parking and the Hollins parking. There's also an option to purchase a $25 annual pass.

Nice warm winter hike in the mud. A bit slower than a normal hike might be because of all the mud slicks and puddles. Turned around with 0.5-0.7 left to go to end of trail but the 3.5mi we did were nice and easy.

Fri Sep 07 2018

Love this trail and how close it is to my house. Nice trail, with a good overlook of the Cove in the Winter. I'm not sure you have to pay the $3 if you park on Hollins side and don't actually enter the Cove. It is a nice 2.5 miles to the top of the ridge and back down to the parking lot.

$3 land fee!! REALLY!?!?! Fucking va. Sucks!! Hate this state more than any other!!!

Great walk in the woods. The water is beautiful the only downside is there’s no swimming. There are a lot of segways to the water from the trail. The trail was narrow and overgrown near the power lines, which was very noisy. There are a lot of bugs so bring repellant! There also has been bear sightings so be aware and courteous. I would say this trail is closer to moderately strenuous, has some inclines. You can park at either end of the trail. Both $3. The other parking lot is smaller and it is pay by envelope.

Great trails.. they keep it up well. Very dog friendly.

mountain biking
Sat Mar 17 2018

Fun basic bike trail. Nothing to hard but defiantly not boring.

mountain biking
Thu Mar 08 2018

Fun basic bike trail. Nothing too hard but defiantly not boring.

Fri Nov 17 2017

Just remember 2 or 3 dollars a person for parking. Nice trails.

Very easy-moderate hike for beginners/day hikers and families. Some is overgrown a little, which could be annoying when wearing shorts. Be cautious of private property lines. Great trail for semi-experienced mountain bikers.

Mon Sep 04 2017

It's a fairly decent trail that looks to be cleared frequently. Not very busy, only ran into 2 groups on labor day. Trail is very thin, can't have anyone beside you. The trail also isn't very flat, and your feet are often at different elevations to be balanced. Also 2-3 dollars a person depending on the day.

Loved this easy trail. Great place for the kids

Took the kids and had a great time! Beautiful views of the water.

Love it here but don't forget $2!!

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