The City of Roanoke is pleased to share that the Parks and Recreation department has received a $250,000 grant to fund trailhead reconstruction at Carvins Cove Natural Reserve. The Recreational Trails Grant was awarded by the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) for Bennett Springs trailhead reconstruction.
Carvins Cove is a 12,000 acre natural reserve home to 60 miles of natural surface trails offering recreational opportunities for mountain bikers, hikers, trail runners, and equestrians. The Bennett Springs trailhead serves as a gateway for both local users and tourists, with parking, restrooms, a bike fix station, and trail information. Mountain bikers are an especially engaged user group, due in part to Roanoke and the surrounding Blue Ridge earning the designation of Silver-Level Ride Center by the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) in 2018. Due to its design and the heavy use it experiences, the trailhead suffers from water runoff causing erosion to the trails. With the funding provided by this grant, as well as additional funding from the City of Roanoke, this trailhead reconstruction project aims to combat these issues, thus expanding the lifespan of the trailhead and ensuring its long-term sustainability.
Project plans include an improved parking lot accommodating over 50 lined parking spaces (including ADA and trailer spaces), and trailhead amenities to include benches, updated wayfinding signage, and sustainable landscaping. Native trees and perennials will not only absorb heavy rain and prevent sediment from flowing into nearby creeks, but will also provide critical habitat for native pollinators. The project scope also includes armoring of the Hi-Dee Hoe trail where it connects to the parking lot and currently experiences erosion from water runoff. Most importantly, a large bioswale will be constructed to channel water runoff appropriately to prevent erosion and storm water concerns.
“Carvins Cove is one of the largest municipal parks in the country, and a large percentage of visitors utilize the Bennett Spring trailhead for their recreational pursuits. Being such a significant asset to the City of Roanoke, it’s critical that we ensure its longevity for future users,” said Michael Clark, Director of Roanoke Parks and Recreation. “We are grateful for this grant from DCR, which will make it possible to protect the trailhead and reconstruct it in an environmentally sustainable way.”
The Parks and Recreation department looks forward to working on this project, beginning with the surveying and engineering process. Construction is tentatively anticipated to begin in 2025.
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