Picnic Pavlion

New in 2018, Explore Park features a rentable outdoor picnic area conveniently located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 115 and only fifteen minutes from downtown Roanoke. Explore Park features hundreds of acres of rolling hills, pristine woodlands, 14 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, riverfront access for fishing, canoeing or kayaking, plus historical buildings on a loop trail including a grist mill, blacksmith shop, homesteader house, German double crib barn and school house.

The picnic pavilion located beside the trailhead to the Forester’s Trail. Stop inside the Visitor Center to browse in a gift shop featuring Artisan crafts, artwork and parkway memorabilia, view a twenty-minute movie about the Blue Ridge Parkway and enjoy the Blue Ridge Museum. The newly opened Mayflower Disc Golf course featuring 18-holes is only three minutes away! Come to Explore Park for a day of play and adventure!

Pavilion Information

Availability: Daily from 10am to 9pm, April 1 through October 1
Maximum Capacity: 50
Rate: $75 per day
Other Notes: Alcohol is allowed with the proper permits submitted in advance. The shelter is also available after hours. Please contact Luona Blankenship for more information by email or phone at (540) 777-6391. There is no grill on-site at this facility, so please bring your own if needed.

How to Reserve for Your Event

This pavilion can be placed in the following ways:

  • By Phone - Call (540) 387-6078 ext. 0 during our administrative office hours of 8am to 5pm Monday through Friday.
  • Online - For reservations of 50 participants and below, many shelters can be reserved online. Log onto our Activity Registration Portal, and make sure to LOGIN at the top right, or create a new account if one does not exist. Use the search functions to find "Explore Park" shelter on your preferred date (at least 7 days in advance within the current season). 

Park Features

  • Picnic Pavliion
  • Picnic Tables
  • Parking
  • Hiking Trails
  • Mountain Biking Trails
  • Riverfront Access
  • Portable Toilet
  • Visitor Center during open hours
  • Waste receptacle on property
  • Alcohol allowed with proper submitted permits