Roanoke County announces phased reopening of recreation services


ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — With COVID-19 closures lifting across the Commonwealth following Gov. Ralph Northam’s Executive Order 61, Roanoke County officials announced modified COVID-19 policies for recreational facilities on Tuesday.

As stated in the news release from Roanoke County on Tuesday, May 19, in recognition of “the importance of recreational access for the health and wellbeing of our citizens,” the following facilities and services will reopen or ease restrictions in the coming weeks:

Parks & Greenways
On Saturday, May 23, officials say playgrounds will reopen and limited recreational equipment — such as basketball rims — will return to Roanoke County parks.

However, visitors are required to follow Virginia guidelines for group size and social distancing while using any park, trail, or greenway. In addition, picnic shelters and field rentals will not resume until Virginia enters Phase Two of reopening, according to the county.

Explore Park

  • Treetop Quest: The aerial adventure course and ziplines will resume daily operation on Saturday, but they will implement of a limit of nine participants every 20 minutes, enhanced sanitation procedures, and social distancing protocols.
  • Visitor Center: The welcome and information center will resume daily operation on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with reduced occupancy limits in place.
  • Camping Services and Gear Rental: Roanoke County is currently accepting reservations for primitive camping, tent rental, cabins, and yurts offered by its vendor partners at Blue Mountain Adventures and Don’s Cab-Inns.
  • Tube and Kayak Rental: Gear rental and shuttle services — which have been modified to allow for social distancing — will begin at the park on Friday, May 22, running each Friday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Twin Creeks Brewpub: The facility will remain closed for now, but officials say Roanoke County’s vendor partners are working to open over the next few weeks. Look for updates on the Twin Creeks Brewing website and social media.

Summer Camps
Officials say a limited lineup of full-day child care programs will be available at the Green Ridge Recreation Center and Brambleton Center starting Monday, June 1. Registration will open to the general public on Tuesday, May 26.

However, all half-day camps and summer camp programs at Camp Roanoke and Explore Park are canceled for the seasons season.

Green Ridge Recreation Center & Splash Valley Water Park
Even though these facilities are ineligible for Virginia’s Phase One reopening, officials expect portions of the facility will resume operation in Phase Two with capacity restrictions and enhanced sanitation procedures. As soon as information is available, the dates will be announced and members and season pass holders will receive direction communication.

Recreation Programs & Special Events
Adult leisure and family recreation programs have been canceled through June, but large community special events — including Artisan Saturdays, Touch-a-Truck, and Green Hill Highland Games — have been canceled through August, according to the county. Officials say they are developing a new lineup of recreation programs with stricter social distancing procedures. Meanwhile, registration will reportedly remain open for after school programs for the 2020-2021 school year.

Administrative Facilities & Athletics Leagues
According to Roanoke County, administrative offices at the Public Service Center on Kessler Mill Road will remain closed to walk-in visitors. However, people are encouraged to call (540) 387-6078 ext. 0 to ask questions or make appointments to visit with the staff.

In addition, youth athletics leagues have already been canceled for Spring 2020, but no decisions have been made about Fall 2020 athletics, officials say.

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