#7peaks7weeks Hiking Challenge in Roanoke

This fall, we encourage you to accept the #7Peaks7Weeks challenge and climb seven peaks in just seven weeks! Roanoke 7 Summits is an annual hiking tradition is presented by Roanoke Parks and Recreation. Join us for all seven, or simply come along for your favorite hikes. Guided hikes take place on Thursdays and Saturdays. You’ll get a chance to explore local trails, experience Roanoke’s stunning fall foliage, and make new friends while challenging yourself!

Throughout the challenge, you’ll be invited to free educational workshops. Plus, each week you will receive an email with more information about the upcoming hike and how to prepare. At the end of the seven weeks, we’ll meet for the Roanoke 7 Summits celebration at Roanoke GO Fest 2017 in mid-October.


Registration includes a t-shirt. If you’d like to join a guided hike, please register for each hike individually in advance. Guided hikes cost $6 and include your transportation. Some participants complete the seven peaks on their own time throughout the challenge. If you have any questions, please contact the program supervisor, Renee Powers at renee.powers@roanokeva.gov or 540-853-5867.

What peaks are we hiking in 2017?

Hike #1: Mill Mountain

Mill Mountain park offers incredible hiking within 5 minutes of downtown Roanoke. The trails encompass Roanoke’s highest point – the summit of Mill Mountain Park (1703 ft.) and the Roanoke Star. This area offers 500 acres of parkland atop Mill Mountain, picnic areas, two overlooks that provide 20-60 mile vistas, access to additional hiking trails, the Mill Mountain Zoo and the Discovery Center.

Hike #2: Read Mountain

Read MountainLocated in Roanoke County this park boasts 243 acres of mostly forested land, preserving a natural environment the public can enjoy for generations. The trail system was built by Pathfinders for Greenways and the hike for the series is an great loop to Buzzard Rocks, Summit Ridge and Boulder Point. The view from the top is one of the best in the Roanoke Valley.

Hike #3: Poor Mountain

Poor MountainStone stairs, scenic vistas, fire ecology and outstanding looks at Table Mountain pine woodlands make the Poor Mountain Trail a great recreational resource in the Roanoke area. Poor Mountain Natural Area Preserve protects the world’s largest population of the globally rare shrub piratebush, which is restricted to only a handful of sites in the mountains of Virginia, Tennessee, and North Carolina.

Hike #4: Sharp Top

Sharp Top mountainWhile this peak is not the tallest of the three peaks at Peaks of Otter along the Blue Ridge Parkway, it offers the best view by far. After hiking 1,500′ of elevation over 1.5 miles, hikers will be rewarded with a 360 degree view of the other peaks, the Ridge and Valley to the west, and the Piedmont to the east. While it falls a few feet short of the tallest peak, Flat Top at 4,002′, the views are not comparable. Be sure to stop on the way up or back at Buzzard’s Roost for some additional vistas!

Hike #5: Dragon's Tooth

Dragon's ToothDragon’s Tooth s a unique geologic feature that consists of Tuscarora quartzite spires which outcrop on the top of Cove Mountain. The tallest “tooth” projects roughly 35 feet above the surrounding rock. The trail to Dragon’s Tooth ascends steep, rugged outcrops of quartzite which form the spine of Cove Mountain and North Mountain. The spine is known as Dragon’s Back. A difficult hike, Dragon’s Tooth summit offers magnificent views of nearby and distant peaks year-round. 

Hike #6: Tinker Cliffs

Tinker CliffsOutstanding views, a tough climb, a cool creek cliff face and Scorched Earth Gap are just a few reasons to hike Tinker Cliffs via the Andy Layne Trail. Tinker Cliffs is the third leg in the Triple Crown of great views/hikes in this part of Virginia, along with McAfee Knob and Dragons Tooth.

Hike #7: McAfee Knob

McAfee KnobThe poster trail for the AT. In almost every book or pamphlet containing pictures of the scenic beauty on the AT you are sure to come across a picture of McAfee Knob. This just may be the most beautiful spot in Virgina. 

McAfee Knob stands 3400+ ft and is the tallest mountain in the area surrounding Catawba. Once you reach the summit you are awarded with a stimulating view of the valley below.

#7Peaks7Weeks 2016

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I need to bring with me on my hikes?

Be prepared for any situation you think you might find on the trail.  It will be up to you to ensure that you are properly equipped to be out on the trail. Remember to bring plenty of water, food, proper clothing and footwear, first aid, measures and maps.

Do I have to hike the summits in a particular order?

We organize the #7peaks7weeks guided hikes in sequence from easiest to most challenging, but you can mix it up and tackle the hikes according to your own schedule! 

I'm only interested in self-guided hikes. Do I still need to pay to join the program?

To register in the program and receive a t-shirt, you will need to pay the registration fee. This fee helps cover costs associated with program management, organizing the free educational workshops, and printing t-shirts. By registering, you’ll also have access to weekly emails that include helpful info about the next hike.

Some of the summits have multiple trail routes to reach the top. Which route am I supposed to take?

We have provided you with suggested routes in the trail description of each summit. If you find another trail route that you’d like to try instead, you’re welcome to do so! Please try to ensure that these trails are safe and always stay on the indicated path.

I am registered for a guided hike. Where do we meet?

If you are registered for a Thursday hike, we will meet at Norwich Recreation Center located at 2127 Buford Ave. in Roanoke, VA. If you are registered for a Saturday hike, we will meet at the City of Roanoke’s Public Works Division parking lot at 1802 Courtland Rd. in Roanoke, VA.

#7Peaks7Weeks Sponsors