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Mill Mountain Zoo, Roanoke

3.1
#6 of 13 in Zoos & Aquariums in Virginia
The Mill Mountain Zoo is a zoo located atop Mill Mountain in Roanoke, Virginia. Originally opening in 1952, the zoo was operated by the City of Roanoke for its first 24 years. In 1976, the city turned its operation over to the Roanoke Jaycees. The Jaycees operated the zoo until 1988 when its operation was handed over to the non-profit Blue Ridge Zoological Society (BRZS). The BRZS today still serves as the operator and fund-raising mechanism for the zoo and its operations.The zoo has been accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) since 1995.HistoryWith its location atop Mill Mountain not being conducive to a major expansion, a proposal developed in 1984 to relocate the zoo to a 400acre tract adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway as the Blue Ridge Zoo. This proposal was later abandoned in favor of the development of Virginia's Explore Park at the location originally proposed for the zoo. After the failed relocation proposal, the Blue Ridge Zoological Society voted in 1988 to have the zoo permanently located atop Mill Mountain. As part of this decision, a 10-year master plan called Zoo 2001, was completed in 1991, with some of its suggestions successfully implemented over the course of the next decade.Additions since 2008: New Holding/Quarantine Building (houses new animals and the aviary birds during the winter-not accessible to the publicNew Animal Clinic-not accessible to the publicRed Wolf ExhibitEurasian Black Vulture ExhibitBlack Tufted Marmoset Exhibit (Burmese pythons were moved into the Reptile House)Canadian Lynx Exhibit (where red tailed hawks were)Interactive AviaryReptile House
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Mill Mountain Zoo Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 3.5
237 reviews
Google
4.0
TripAdvisor
  • This zoo has some great animals but is relatively small. The location and view are a large part of it's charm. A small, open air, train around the perimeter is fun and capitalizes in the small size an...  more »
  • It’s inexpensive to enter. To my relief it appears they treat all animals with dignity and respect while providing them with everything they need to live a full life. It was hot the day we visited but...  more »
  • I want to start by saying it's not often I write not-great reviews. The location of this place is great. It's nice surroundings, the garden leading up to the zoo is great too. I loved the TYPE of anim...  more »
Google
  • A small zoo. Costs $9 per adult and less for children, seniors and the military. Contains about 35 exhibits, and all of the animals appear to be well cared for. I recommend spending a bit of time in the aviary myself. Overall, a good way to spend an hour or two.
  • Great little zoo. Explore park and the star are also great for kids of all ages. Hiking trials and a flower garden add to the charm of this attraction. The star and the park close at 11pm. Opens at 6am. Security on site.
  • I remember it being much larger, but then I was last there back in the mid 70s. I guess everything was bigger back then. I still enjoyed it. And, my great nephews, the main reason why I went, were really happy, and thoroughly enjoyed themselves, even though we didn't get to ride the train. All in all, a good day at the zoo.
  • It's a small zoo, a nice stop along your route. They have a snow leopard, which is cool. Some of the enclosures and buildings look like they need some maintenance, or completion (there were some under construction that looked like it's been taking a while). The zoo train is cute and a unique feature, but it would be nice if they dressed up the track it takes a bit. Half of the track looks like it passes through maintenance areas, which are kind of bland. There is certainly potential here though.
  • Lovely little zoo. Very clean and staff very friendly. Animals are well taken care of. It is a small zoo but it is still worth the visit. Glad I found this little gem.

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Where to stay in Roanoke

The most architecturally interesting accommodations in Roanoke cluster in the historical center, south of Gainsboro district. The long-established hotels here have been joined by the more modern, purpose-built establishments. Look to the north and in the residential areas for more modest inns and guesthouses, and around the airport for some contemporary business-style hotels.
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