Roanoke set to build $2 million in-river kayak park near Wasena Park

This in-river kayak park will be the first of its kind in the state of Virginia

The in-river kayak park will offer more rapids for kayakers along with additional leisure space for everyone to enjoy the Roanoke River.

ROANOKE, Va. – Roanoke is known for the wide variety of outdoor recreation it has to offer, like hiking, biking and river sports.

And coming soon, an in-river kayak park.

The kayak park will be located in the Roanoke River by Wasena Park.

It’s very exciting. It’s obviously taken a lot of work from a lot of places so it’s been very gratifying to see it happen. And we are just very proud,” said Marketing Director for City of Roanoke’s Parks and Recreation, Molly Hagan.

It will add challenges for kayakers by introducing features like rocks and more sand to create manmade rapids.

While still offering a leisurely place to enjoy the river, either by floating, swimming or sun tanning.

“It’s going to enhance the river for all types of users. There are going to be natural features that help give rapids for kayakers but you can also float in a tube and enjoy that experience as well. There are also going to be things like large boulders that you can sunbathe on or bring your kids and splash in the shallower parts of the river,” said Hagan.

The new attraction is also expected to bring more visitors to the Roanoke River.

“This is going to be a new reason they’re coming here. And when they come, they stop at gas stations, they book hotel rooms, sometimes they book a kayak rental so this is definitely an economic driver for sure,” said Hagan.

The $2 million project is being funded by the American Rescue Plan Act.

Construction must begin by the latest 2024 and completed by 2026, according to funding requirements.

About the Author:

Sydney joined the WSLS 10 News team in June 2021.