Steeplechase - A Rung Higher (all ages)
Get an exclusive seat close to the action as you watch our spectacular steeplechase race series and horseback demonstration. Our wranglers will dazzle you as they compete to hurdle fences and other obstacles at Niagara Ranch with the grace and control of an expert western style rider. This event will demonstrate why our program is “a rung higher,” while you learn about our unique training methods. While you’re there, experience hands-on activities, demonstrations and vendors. Mounted rides will be available for the kids for an extra $5. Advance registration is recommended, but admission will be accepted at the gate. Gates open at 9:30am.
Activity Name Code Dates Times Days Location
Register Steeplechase - A Rung Higher (all ages) 33747 4/27/2019 - 4/27/2019 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM Sa Explore Pa Info
Build a Terrarium
Take a stroll in the woods and collect some items to make your own mini forest garden. Learn about the beautiful smaller plants hidden among the trees and the animals that depend on them. Instructor will have some terrarium plants pre-collected, tools to collect your own materials and containers you can “reuse” as terrariums or you can bring your own small container. This program meets at Journey's End Parking Lot. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.
Activity Name Code Dates Times Days Location
Register Build a Terrarium (ages 5+) 50141 6/8/2019 - 6/8/2019 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Sa Explore Park- Journey's End Parking Lot Info
Disc Golf 101
Mayflower Hills is open and ready to play! Join the experts from Roanoke Disc Golf Club and learn how to play the sport while picking up some beginner techniques to get started. We'll play the front 9 as a group and discuss rules and throwing technique as we go. Afterword, we'll answer any special questions and provide additional training or tips as needed. Nobody knows this course better than the volunteers who designed it from scratch, so you won't want to miss this exclusive opportunitiy. Preregistration is recommended, but drop-ins are welcome. The $3 reservation covers your course fee.
Activity Name Code Dates Times Days Location
Register Disc Golf 101 33900 6/4/2019 - 6/4/2019 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Tu Explore Pa Info
Register Disc Golf 101 33901 6/13/2019 - 6/13/2019 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Th Explore Pa Info
Register Disc Golf 101 33902 6/29/2019 - 6/29/2019 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Sa Explore Pa Info
Horseback Astronomy Ride w/ Interpreter (ages 8+)
The Blue Ridge Parkway overlooks near Explore Park have been recognized as the region’s best places for stargazing! Saddle up and get exclusive access to fields and trails near the parkway, previously closed to the public. To make sure you don’t miss any shooting stars or constellations along the way, you’ll be riding alongside our staff naturalist. This is a beginner program with no previous experience required, and a great way to get an introduction to the thrill of horseback riding. Must wear closed-toe shoes and long pants. Helmets, and tack included. This program will meet at a trail head at 3404 Highland Rd. SW, 24014, just down the street from the new Niagara Ranch.
Activity Name Code Dates Times Days Location
Waitlist Horseback Astronomy Ride with Intepreter (ages 8+) 33744 5/18/2019 - 5/18/2019 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM Sa Explore Pa Info
Register Horseback Astronomy Ride with Intepreter (ages 8+) 33745 6/22/2019 - 6/22/2019 7:00 PM - 10:00 PM Sa Explore Pa Info
Horseback Obstacle Course (ages 8+)
Test your horsemanship with a unique obstacle course challenge at the Niagara Ranch at Explore Park. Use a Reba Farm horse and hone your skills on obstacles that challenge every rider. Learn how to work your horse through the obstacles with expert help when needed. It’s great for anyone who loves horses and riding. All experience levels are welcome. Prizes will be awarded to the top three riders! Advance registration is required. Must wear closed-toe shoes and long pants. Helmets, and tack included.
Activity Name Code Dates Times Days Location
Register Horseback Obstacle Course (ages 8+) 33728 5/4/2019 - 5/4/2019 2:30 PM - 5:00 PM Sa Explore Pa Info
Register Horseback Obstacle Course (ages 8+) 33729 6/8/2019 - 6/8/2019 2:30 PM - 5:00 PM Sa Explore Pa Info
Horseback Wildlife Ride with Interpreter (ages 8+)
It’s time to saddle up and experience the sights sounds of the unique wildlife ecosystem surrounding Explore Park. To make sure you don’t miss any of the spectacular sights and sounds along the way, you’ll be riding alongside our staff naturalist. Get exclusive access to fields and trails near the Blue Ridge Parkway, previously closed to the public. This is a beginner program with no previous experience required, and a great way to get an introduction to the thrill of horseback riding. Must wear closed-toe shoes and long pants. Helmets, and tack included. This program will meet at a trail head at 3404 Highland Rd. SW, 24014, just down the street from the new Niagara Ranch.
Activity Name Code Dates Times Days Location
Register Horseback Wildlife Ride with Intepreter (Ages 8+) 33730 5/18/2019 - 5/18/2019 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM Sa Explore Pa Info
Mansions of Wythe County- Progressive Lunch
Prepare to spend the day touring and eating at three of Wythe County’s most historic and beautiful mansions! Your Progressive appetizer begins at Loretto, originally built in 1852 and has had the honor of being home to many esteemed Virginia statesman. Situated on thirteen acres against a backdrop of majestic 200 year old Oak Trees, this property is sure to delight. Your next stop is the stately Fort Chiswell Mansion where you will enjoy your main course. This 10,000 square foot brick colonial home built in 1839 stands like a fortress on a bluff above a busy highway where Interstate 81 and 77 converge. For more than a decade it has been lovingly restored by its current owner, who takes pleasure in sharing the history of this beautiful landmark. Your dessert awaits you at the Trinkle Mansion Bed and Breakfast built in 1912, steeped in rich history and stunningly restored where the attention to detail has been amazing. You will experience true Southern Hospitality when you enter the front door! Fee includes breakfast biscuit, progressive lunch and tour, bus transportation and trip guide.
Activity Name Code Dates Times Days Location
Waitlist Mansions of Wythe County- Progressive Lunch 31768 7/25/2019 - 7/25/2019 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM Th Info
Mother's Day Kayaking
I LOVE YOU MOM! Show her you really care and bring her on a fun and leisurely kayaking trip on the nearby James River. After orientation with your sit-on-top kayak and paddling instruction, you're heading down river. Along the way enjoy quality family time in a beautiful setting with breaks and time for lunch. Each participant gets an individual sit-on-top kayak. No experience necessary. Please bring a lunch and water bottle. Must be able to swim. Transportation, guides, and all equipment provided. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.
Activity Name Code Dates Times Days Location
Register Mother's Day Kayaking (ages 12+) 50138 5/12/2019 - 5/12/2019 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM Su Green Ridge Lobby Area Info
Mountain Biking 101
Leave the asphalt behind and let us get you in gear for the trails. Learn the basics of mountain biking with an International Mountain Bike Association certified instructor. They will provide you with the skills and knowledge needed to get out there on your own. Our guides also provide plenty of information on the best local trails and rides suited for your ability, which is helpful for anyone new to the sport. No experience necessary. Mountain bikes, helmets, and all instruction provided. Course will meet at the Explore Park Visitor's Center.
Activity Name Code Dates Times Days Location
Register Mountain Biking 101 (ages 13+, 5/7) 51086 5/7/2019 - 5/7/2019 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM Tu Explore Park Visitor's Center Info
Murdery Mystery Dinner at Niagara Ranch (all ages)
A lazy afternoon at Niagara Ranch takes a mysterious turn when one of the guests turns up dead. Can you figure out who “donit”? In this interactive event, follow the clues to earn points for prizes and see if you can solve the mystery. Get up close and personal with our herd of horses and farm hands who all play a key role in your adventure. Cap your experience with “cowboy style” food and thought provoking comradarie all in a beautiful setting. Western dress is encouraged. This program is $50 (including food) with 50% off for ages 12 and under.
Activity Name Code Dates Times Days Location
Register Murdery Mystery Dinner at Niagara Ranch (all ages) 33748 5/11/2019 - 5/11/2019 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM Sa Explore Pa Info
Nature Journaling
Become a Citizen Scientist by keeping a Phenology Nature Journal. Learn to observe and record important events that occur in nature, like the first migratory bird that returns to your backyard in Spring. Keeping a record of nature will help connect you with the cycles of the season and might even advance science. We’ll make a journal, observe nature, and find out some organizations that collect citizen science data. This program meets at the Explore Park Visitor Center. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.
Activity Name Code Dates Times Days Location
Register Nature Journaling (ages 5+) 50140 5/11/2019 - 5/11/2019 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Sa Explore Park Visitor's Center Info
Paddle and Picnic- Roanoke River Gorge
What's better than a scenic, fun-filled kayaking trip? When a hot-grilled, catered picnic is waiting for you riverside. We'll start with a short river intro before setting off down the Roanoke River. We will stop periodically, including a break for a delicious, catered lunch about half-way down river. Transportation, lunch, equipment, and guides included. Each participant get's an individual sit-on-top kayak. Minors must be accompanied by an adult. Trip meets at the Visitor Center
Activity Name Code Dates Times Days Location
Waitlist Paddle and Picnic- Roanoke River Gorge (Ages 12+) 50139 5/4/2019 - 5/4/2019 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM Sa Explore Park Visitor's Center Info
Shenandoah Valley and Beyond
Harrisonburg, Virginia and the surrounding area is home to a large population of Mennonites and Brethrens that live and work in this picturesque part of the Shenandoah Valley. Your first stop is the Dayton Famers Market, where you can shop from a wide array of vendors displaying their many wares. We meet our step-on guide who will board the bus and explain in detail the important heritage and custom of these very industrious people. You will travel the backroads of this rich fertile valley and see where the worship, go to school, and work. A special highlight of the day is a “family style” feast from an old order Mennonite family served in their wonderful farmhouse. Stops also include shopping in Stuarts Draft at the Cheese Shop and Milmont Greenhouses with their beautiful flowers! Fee includes breakfast biscuit, step-on guide, family style lunch, bus transportation, and trip guide.
Activity Name Code Dates Times Days Location
Register Shenandoah Valley and Beyond 31769 5/16/2019 - 5/16/2019 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM Th Info
Spring Hollow Exploration
The Spring Hollow Reservoir holds 3.2 billion gallons of water and is used as an important drinking water source, but this protected space also serves as a haven for wildlife and natural beauty. Experience this watershed that is generally closed to the public with our partners from the Western Virginia Water Authority. We will begin with a five mile interpretive hike around the reservoir—including the opportunity to cross over the 990 foot long dam. Afterwards, we will tour the Spring Hollow Water Treatment Facility and learn more about our drinking water’s journey from the Roanoke River to the faucet. Please pack a lunch for the hike and a water bottle. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.
Activity Name Code Dates Times Days Location
Waitlist Spring Hollow Exploration (ages 10+) 50137 4/27/2019 - 4/27/2019 9:00 AM - 3:00 PM Sa Spring Hollow Treatment Facility Info
Stand Up Paddleboarding
SUP is quickly becoming a favorite river activity for anyone who wants a fun and new way to play on the water. Start the experience with an on-land lesson taught by a certified paddleboard instructor followed by time in the water to practice and hone your paddling skills. Top off the practice sessions with a trip on the river to get a true SUP experience. Must be able to swim. Classes designed for beginners. All equipment, gear, and instruction included.
Activity Name Code Dates Times Days Location
Register Introduction to Stand Up Paddleboarding (ages 13+, 4/30) 51081 4/30/2019 - 4/30/2019 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Tu Carvins Cove Boat Ramp Info
Register Introduction to Stand Up Paddleboarding (ages 13+, 5/23) 51083 5/23/2019 - 5/23/2019 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Th Carvins Cove Boat Ramp Info
Register Introduction to Stand Up Paddleboarding (ages 13+, 5/9) 51082 5/9/2019 - 5/9/2019 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Th Carvins Cove Boat Ramp Info
Register Introduction to Stand Up Paddleboarding (ages 13+, 6/5) 51084 6/5/2019 - 6/5/2019 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM W Carvins Cove Boat Ramp Info
Trees, Wildflowers and Forest Ecology
In Honor of Earth Day and Arbor Day hike with foresters and naturalists and learn all about trees, wildflowers and the forest ecology of Explore Park. Identify different species of wildflowers and trees and the trees’ importance to all life in the Park. After the hike make a tree cookie necklace to mark the occasion and take home a wildflower checklist. This program meets at the Explore Park Visitor Center. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.
Activity Name Code Dates Times Days Location
Register Trees, Wildflowers and Forest Ecology (ages 5+) 50144 4/27/2019 - 4/27/2019 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM Sa Explore Park Visitor's Center Info
Virginia Creeper Spring Ride
Enjoy hours of pleasant cycling on the beautiful Virginia Creeper Trail! Beginning at the local high point of Whitetop Station we will take advantage of 17 miles of scenic and gently sloping terrain, providing an easy and novice-friendly ride to our end-point in historic Damascus, VA. Comfortable bikes, helmets, water bottles, and transportation are included in the registration cost. Participants have the option of bringing a packed lunch or purchasing lunch at the popular Creeper Trail Café mid-way through the ride. Minors must be accompanied by an adult.
Activity Name Code Dates Times Days Location
Register Virginia Creeper Spring Ride (Ages 10+) 52183 5/18/2019 - 5/18/2019 8:00 AM - 5:30 PM Sa Green Ridge Lobby Area Info
Western Riding Lessons (ages 8+)
Ready to ride like a cowboy? Learn horsemanship skills that are needed with any discipline of riding. Get a hands-on experience in this new weekly program at Explore Park’s Niagara Ranch. Simply the most advanced lessons available, whether you’re a beginner or experienced rider. Learn with a proven method that will take you further than you have ever imagined. Must wear closed-toe shoes and long pants. Helmets, and tack included. Four week course (Sunday courses in May do not meet on 5/12 - Mother’s Day).
Activity Name Code Dates Times Days Location
Register Western Riding Lessons (ages 8+) 33736 5/5/2019 - 6/2/2019 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM Su Explore Pa Info
Register Western Riding Lessons (ages 8+) 33737 5/5/2019 - 6/2/2019 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM Su Explore Pa Info
Register Western Riding Lessons (ages 8+) 33738 6/8/2019 - 6/29/2019 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM Sa Explore Pa Info
Register Western Riding Lessons (ages 8+) 33739 6/8/2019 - 6/29/2019 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM Sa Explore Pa Info
Register Western Riding Lessons (ages 8+) 33740 6/9/2019 - 6/30/2019 1:30 PM - 3:00 PM Su Explore Pa Info
Register Western Riding Lessons (ages 8+) 33741 6/9/2019 - 6/30/2019 3:00 PM - 5:00 PM Su Explore Pa Info