Trips & Trails: Broad Run

Photo By: Rick Stowe

George Washington and Jefferson National Forests hold countless opportunities for adventure. Much of the 1.8 million acres lie along the Interstate 81 corridor. While most of the roads are fairly tame, there’s definitely something for everyone, and those seeking to test their skills and vehicles can kind find ample opportunity to do so. 

One road that offers varying levels of adventure is Broad Run in Craig County, Virginia. This nearly 10-mile route is north of Roanoke, Virginia, and less than an hour from Overland Expo East

The route’s eastern terminus exits the national forest at State Route 748. The western end intersects Highway 311, but if you’re traveling the trail between April 1 and January 10, you can extend your trip by another nine miles by taking Forest Road 224 to its end further south on 311.

The difficulty level of Broad Run can vary greatly depending on the season and recent precipitation. Most of the route is relatively easy, but there are numerous water crossings along the way. During times of heavy rains, several of the crossings can exceed 36 inches in depth, and a few are approximately 25 yards wide. 

Overlanders exploring Broad Run should be sure to practice safe driving practices, particularly in deep water crossings, and know when to turn back. 

While this route is relatively short, it travels through a beautiful valley. There are ample opportunities to continue your journey in public lands in nearly every direction. 

READ MORE: Trips & Trails: Spruce Knob

What to Know:

  • Time: 1 hour
  • Distance: 10 miles
  • Fuel: Gas is available in Roanoke and New Castle, Virginia. 
  • Highest elevation: 2,161 feet
  • Water: Water is available at natural sources throughout the route with proper filtration. 
  • Camping: Camping is available at dispersed sites along the route. Please practice Leave No Trace Ethics and check for required permits and fees. 

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