National Park Service Ranger Programs

NEW! Explore Park  is pleased to announce an exciting lineup of interpretive programs, hosted by a National Park Service Ranger. From August to October a series of free educational sessions will be held at the Explore Park Visitor Center. For more information about these programs, or to learn more about each week’s topic, please call (540) 427-1800. No advance registration is required for these activities, but an adult must accompany all children. All dates and times are subject to change, and there will be no program on November 11.

Campfire Programs: Fridays & Saturdays at 7:00 PM - Campfires are a National Park tradition where visitors are encouraged to come early to enjoy the fire. Discover with a Ranger more about the plants and animals during a natural or cultural history program that will last up to one hour. S’more gift bags will be provided for free at the visitor center. These programs will not occur on stargazing nights (see below).

Star Gazing: Explore the night Sky at the Pine Mountain Overlook, the second overlook on the Roanoke River Parkway between the Blue Ridge Parkway and Explore Park. These programs will be held in place of our regular campfires on the following dates:

  • Sep. 22 at 8:30 PM 
  • Oct. 20 at 8:30 PM

The Mighty Roanoke: Fridays at 4:00 PM - Meet at the Explore Park Visitor Center to travel to the Roanoke River to explore the unique river ecosystem and what critters make the river their home.

Ranger Trail Hikes: Saturdays at 4:00 PM - Nature is always changing - discover with the Ranger different parts of this habitat and how they each are an important part of the food web. Meet at the Forester’s Trail.

Bird Watching for Beginners: Sundays at 1:00 PM- More than 250 species of birds have been sighted on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  That makes it an excellent place to learn and practice the hobby of bird watching.  Join the Ranger at the Pine Mountain Overlook to learn the basics of this fun hobby as well as some interesting facts about some of the birds you may encounter here. The Pine Mountain Overlook is the second overlook on the Roanoke River Parkway between the Blue Ridge Parkway and Explore Park.