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Outdoor Recreation

Greenways and Outdoor Recreation

The Regional Commission assists with and supports several outdoor recreation projects for all of our localities. We also work with the Greenway Commission to provide support for planning and designing greenways and greenway connections. The regional greenway connection is an important element of bicycle and pedestrian accomodation in the Roanoke Valley. You can find more information about Bicycle and Pedestrian Planning.

Roanoke Valley Greenways

RVARC provides a variety of services to the Roanoke Valley Greenway Commission, including collaborating on projects such as the Tinker Creek Greenway Corridor Study (ongoing), the 2018 Greenway Plan, and maintaining the Greenway Commission website.

Regional Greenway and Trail User Count Program

The Regional Greenway and Trail User Count Program, started in 2010, gathers data on greenway and trail usage to monitor network expansion and usage. This data aids local governments and stakeholders for various purposes including:

  • capital improvements program (CIP) funding requests for greenway construction
  • maintenance funding and prioritization
  • greenway operations and policy development
  • congestion and/or user conflict management
  • events planning
  • grant applications
  • outdoor amenities marketing
  • Go Outside Festival (GO Fest) attendance counts
  • benefits/cost analyses
  • transportation studies
  • public health research

The Regional Commission produces a yearly counter report. For any questions about trail counter numbers, please contact

Roanoke River Blueway

The Regional Commission continues to support the Roanoke River Blueway with support from the localities of the City of Salem, City of Roanoke, Roanoke County, and the Town of Vinton. The Roanoke River Blueway Committee meets every other month and contains representatives from a variety or organizations, including:

  • City of Roanoke
  • City of Salem
  • Roanoke County
  • Town of Vinton
  • Montgomery County
  • Franklin County
  • Roanoke Mountain Adventures
  • Roanoke Outside
  • Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge
  • Back Country Sport & Ski
  • National Park Service
  • Upper Roanoke River Roundtable
  • Friends of the Rivers of Virginia
  • FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway
  • Pathfinders for Greenways
  • Roanoke Valley Greenway Commission
  • Clean Valley Council
  • Creek Freak Paddlers of Franklin County
  • Walkabout Outfitters
  • American Electric Power

Upper James Resource Conservation and Development Council

The Regional Commission participates in the work of the Upper James Resource Conservation and Development Council (UJRC&D). This body was created to initiate, develop and promote regional projects benefiting outdoor recreation, land conservation, water resources and environmental education in a sustainable way in the Upper James River watershed. The UJRC&D covers the counties of Alleghany, Bath, Botetourt, Craig, Highland, and Rockbridge, and the cities of Buena Vista, Covington, and Lexington.