Floating with Brooke: Roanoke River

The stretch from Bridge Street to Wasena is a perfect way to start your day!

ROANOKE, Va. – It’s still hot so we’re hitting the river! We’re floating a stretch of the Roanoke River where you’ll put in at Bridge Street at the Roanoke Greenway parking lot, and pull out at the bridge in front of the River House in Wasena.

We chose to bring our own tubes and have one car at the put in and one at the pull out. Once everything is blown up, you’ll walk down a short path to the river. We like to tie everyone together, but this could cause complications through the rapids, so do it at your own discretion.

And then we were off! It was a beautiful partly cloudy day and the sun felt amazing. There are a few little spots with some rapids on this stretch. The first one comes about 10 minutes into the float. The main thing to keep in mind here is to keep your hips up so you don’t drag or hit a rock.

You’ll pass under a few bridges, this one in is part of the Greenway. After about 30 minutes, we noticed some drops of water hitting the water. Then it picked up. It was officially raining.

We tried to find some solace under the memorial bridge, but even that had some runoff. We were stuck, but thank goodness it wasn’t thundering or lightening, or we would have had to pull off.

After the bridge there is a another rapid. This one is a little rougher so hold on tight. Oh yeah, the rain still hadn’t stopped.

I promise we checked the forecast before we went- but its a summer in Roanoke, we all know how this story goes!

But we had our eyes on the prize. There’s a few rope swings on the banks, our favorite is directly across from Vic Thomas Park in Grandin. We pulled off to the side and tied our tubes up. It was still pouring, and we couldn’t help but laugh at our fate. If you’re going to swing, make sure you let go at the highest point!

As soon as we were done swinging, the sun came back out and the rain stopped. The rapids after the swing are pretty narrow and rocky. You will make it through as long as you keep your hips up!

You’ll know you’re close when you head under the Wasena bridge. There’s one more little rapid that is rocky, and then you’re on the home stretch. The yellow bridge in the distance is where you’ll get out.

And of course, it started to rain again.

Walk up the rocks to the bridge and you’re done! The float can vary in time depending on how high the water is. After a little rain this week, it took us about an hour and a half. It was a nice float to start our day!

About the Author:

Brooke Leonard is the newest addition to the 10 Sports team, joining in June 2019.