The MidWeek Crew from Pathfinders for Greenways spent the morning of June 28 cleaning out
the Wolf Creek Greenway tubes under Route 24. This is something the volunteers do
periodically as the need arises when sand, silt, and debris build up.
The greenway extends over two miles from Hardy Road in Vinton through Goode Park to
Mountain View Road near the Blue Ridge Parkway in Roanoke County. The tunnels allow
walkers, runners, and bikers to cross safely under the busy highway. However, they often
become impassable after severe rains due to the build-up of sediment and require frequent
maintenance to keep a clearance of six feet.
There are three separate box tunnels. Wolf Creek passes through one; the other two are usually
walkable—until a storm fills them up with silt.
Member Bud LaRoche said, “It wasn’t nearly as bad as in the past. I think the stream restoration
in Goode Park has helped to reduce the amount of sediment moving down stream.” LaRoche is
one of Vinton’s citizen representatives on the Greenway Commission.
Vinton Public Works Director Bo Herndon and his staff have been coordinating with Planning
and Zoning Director Anita McMillan on hauling away the materials the MidWeek Crew
The Wolf Creek Greenway opened in 1999, and cleaning out the tunnels has become an annual
MidWeek Crew event in the years since.
Most every Wednesday–year-round–the MidWeek Crew puts in a day of work on various
greenway trails. The location varies depending upon what needs to be done the most.
Pathfinders for Greenways is a non-profit volunteer organization that maintains the greenways
and other trails in the Roanoke Valley and beyond. The group was established in 1997 to help the
Roanoke Valley develop a greenway network; educate citizens and officials on greenway
benefits and value; raise and receive gifts, donations, and grants for greenways; and organize volunteers to assist with greenway development and maintenance, including training and leading
The Pathfinders MidWeek crew is made up mostly of retirees who have the stamina to spend an
entire day each week outdoors, in all types of weather, in all seasons, doing hard, physical labor.
VDOT originally wanted the trail to go over the underpass and to include installation of a traffic-
control light on busy Washington Avenue. McMillan thought that presented a safety hazard and
eventually the trail was built underneath.
For many years, Lyndell and Peggy Bryant of Vinton worked diligently to keep the tunnels clear
By Bud LaRoche and Vinton Messenger