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Carvins Cove Natural Reserve


Carvins Cove Natural Reserve, located near Hollins University, is the second largest municipal park in the nation. It holds not only a major water source within its 12,700 acres, but an overwhelming amount of recreational opportunities. Carvins Cove Reservoir, one of the area's primary sources of drinking water, stores 6.5 billion gallons of water when it is at full pond.

The dam, constructed in 1927, is 80 feet tall. Carvins Cove Reservoir's treatment capacity is 28 million gallons per day. After treatment, water is distributed throughout the community by six booster pump stations, six storage tanks and pipes. The reservoir and the land below the 1,200 foot contour are owned by the Western Virginia Water Authority and the land above by the City of Roanoke.
New Approved Carvins Cove Trail Management Plan
Download the PDF version here.

What you need to know:
    • The Cove is only minutes from I-81, and less than eight miles from downtown Roanoke.
    • There are two entrances: the Boat Dock from Route 11 and Bennett Springs from Route 311.
    • The Appalachian Trail follows one of the Cove's northwest ridgelines.
    • The 800 acre lake at the Cove's center offers fishing and boating with small engines.
    • The Boat Dock provides picnic tables, pay phones, restrooms, boat rentals, security personnel, and parking.
    • Hikers, mountain bikers and equestrian trail riders are welcome.
    • A day or yearly pass is required to use the park. Passes can be purchased with check or cash at the Bennet Springs or Timberview Road trail heads or at the boat dock.
    • To reserve the picnic shelter and learn more about certain restrictions concerning use of reservoir, contact the Boat Dock offices at (540) 563-9170.