Hanging Rock Battlefield Trail


3 Reviews

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Hanging Rock Battlefield Trail Facts

States: Virginia
Counties: Roanoke
Length: 1.7 miles
Trail end points: Kessler Mill Rd. near Branch Dr. (Hanging Rock) and SR 311 (Salem)
Trail surfaces: Gravel
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6017725

Hanging Rock Battlefield Trail Description

Opened in 1999, the Hanging Rock Battlefield Trail in Salem (just outside of Roanoke) is associated with Southern Virginia's impressive Civil War history. The northern trailhead at Hanging Rock was the site of the 1864 Hunter's Raid, in which General John McCausland's Confederate forces won a substantial victory against the retreating Union army under the command of General David Hunter. The site is marked by a monument along State Route 311.

Start at the Hanging Rock trailhead with the understanding that this is primarily a pleasant walk if you’re already in the neighborhood, and not necessarily a destination trail. Parking is plentiful, and you can hit the convenience store and gas station next door to stock up on provisions. On the trail, you can absorb the Roanoke Valley's beautiful wooded scenery; the corridor winds along Mason Creek and Kessler Mill Road.

After passing under Interstate 81, you will soon enter the township of Salem. The trail curves through a residential area, and houses flank the trail until you reach the southern trailhead at Timberview Road. If time permits on your return to the northern trailhead, take a quick jaunt on the short hiking trail at the Hanging Rock trailhead. It meanders along Peter's Creek right up to I-81.

Parking and Trail Access

To reach the Hanging Rock trailhead from Interstate 81, take Exit 141 (State Route 419 toward Salem/New Castle). Turn north onto SR 419 and continue on SR 311. The parking area for the Hanging Rock Battlefield Trail is on the left (adjacent to the parking area for the convenience store), or across SR 311 at the monument.

To reach the southern terminus from I-81, take Exit 141 (SR 419 toward Salem/New Castle). Turn south on SR 419/N. Electric Road. Go approximately 1 mile and turn right onto Dalewood Avenue. Take the first left onto Garst Street. Turn left onto Kessler Mill Road and drive 0.5 mile to the parking lot on the right.

Hanging Rock Battlefield Trail Reviews

Easy trail for walking and casual running

While not long, this trail makes for a nice 4-mile run if you add the dead-end street past the North Trail Head parking lot. For even a longer, more challenging run, you can follow the signs to Hinchee Trail at the North End. That trail goes up for 2 miles until it reaches Carvin's Cove

My daughters and I like the surface of the Battlefield Trail, and it is great for a recovery run or a short tempo run. There are a couple of running groups that start at the Brewery parking lot: one at 4:15 am on Wednesday mornings and another at 5:45 pm Tuesday afternoons.

This is also a great trail for walking, especially for families to enjoy together and even biking for children.

Nice place to jog!

I accidentally found this on a run from my hotel. I was running through a very hilly neighborhood and literally ran into it. It is a good surface. As I was running northwest, I ran toward the battle site and it was very pleasant. As they develop the trail system, it will improve. The parking lot at the town end is great but there is no map of the trail and no information on the trail or how to donate. It is a lost opportunity to generate support. Many of us like to donate to these kinds of efforts. I am giving a 3 as it is a short trail and I am usually cycling.

"Level, pleasant walk"

"Hanging Rock Trail is not for wilderness lovers, but it's a pleasant enough walk. For the most part, it's an sphalt ""sidewalk"" running alongside a residential/business road in Salem, VA. I didn't find it particularly exciting, but it's part of a developing greenways system in the Roanoke Valley, so perhaps it will eventually interconnect with something a bit more glamorous!"

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