Mill Mountain Zoo 

Get A Quote

Mill Mountain Zoo offers visitors an enchanting escape into the world of wildlife and nature. Established in 1952, this beloved zoo has grown into a treasured community institution, dedicated to wildlife conservation, education, and recreation.


Mill Mountain Zoo’s mission is to foster an appreciation and understanding of wildlife and habitat preservation through quality exhibits and educational programs. 

The zoo collaborates with other animal conservation initiatives to advance its core beliefs: maintaining the highest standards of animal care, managing the conservation of endangered species, and promoting science education through its diverse animal collection.  

A Scenic Setting

One of the most captivating aspects of Mill Mountain Zoo is its stunning location. Perched 1,700 feet above the Roanoke Valley, the zoo provides breathtaking views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains. 

Because it’s near Mill Mountain Park, visitors can enjoy the lush, natural landscape before exploring the zoo’s winding paths and various animal exhibits. 

Diverse Animal Collection

Despite its relatively small size, Mill Mountain Zoo boasts a diverse collection of animals from around the world. 

Home to over 85 species, the zoo offers guests the chance to observe a variety of animals, including red pandas, snow leopards, and North American river otters. 

The zoo is particularly noted for its efforts in housing and breeding endangered species, contributing to global conservation initiatives.

Educational Programs and Events

Education is a core mission of Mill Mountain Zoo. The zoo offers numerous programs designed to inspire and inform visitors about wildlife and environmental conservation. 

From school field trips and summer camps to special events like Boo at the Zoo and ZooChoo Christmas, there is always something happening to engage and educate guests of all ages.

Interactive Experiences

Mill Mountain Zoo prides itself on providing interactive and memorable experiences for its visitors. 

One of the highlights is the Zoo Choo Train, a miniature train that takes guests on a delightful ride around the zoo’s grounds. This charming attraction is a hit with children and adults alike, offering a fun and unique way to explore the zoo.

The zoo also features a Nature Center, where visitors can engage with hands-on exhibits and learn more about the local flora and fauna of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Nature Center’s educational displays and live animal presentations make it a must-visit for curious minds.

Conservation and Community Involvement

As a key player in wildlife conservation, Mill Mountain Zoo actively participates in several Species Survival Plan (SSP) programs. 

These initiatives, coordinated by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), aim to ensure the survival of endangered species through breeding programs, research, and public education.

The zoo’s commitment to conservation extends beyond its own gates, as it frequently collaborates with local and international organizations to promote environmental stewardship and wildlife protection. 

Through these partnerships, Mill Mountain Zoo continues to make a positive impact on the global conservation community.

AZA Accreditation and Amenities

The zoo first received accreditation from the AZA in 1995, a distinction held by only about 200 facilities nationwide. 

AZA membership provides a network of zoological expertise and reciprocal arrangements with other zoos across the country. Mill Mountain Zoo is one of only four AZA-accredited facilities in Virginia.

The zoo offers various amenities and activities, including:

  • Special Events and Educational Programs: The zoo hosts various events and programs throughout the year, including group tours, birthday parties, and after-hours rentals.
  • Keeper Chats: Zookeepers share unique insights about the animals, providing educational interactions throughout the day.
  • Gift Shop: Visitors can purchase souvenirs, including stuffed animals, clothing, toys, and more, with profits supporting the zoo’s education and conservation efforts.
  • Bali’s Bistro: Operating seasonally from April to October, the Bistro offers a variety of food, snacks, and drinks, with year-round options available in the gift shop.
  • Zoo Choo Rides: The miniature G-16 train runs seasonally, providing fun rides every 30 minutes from 10:30 am to 4:00 pm. Tokens are $2 per passenger.

Plan Your Visit

Mill Mountain Zoo is open year-round, offering a variety of experiences that change with the seasons. Whether planning a family outing, a school trip, or a solo adventure, the zoo provides a welcoming and enriching environment for all. 

Visitors can also take advantage of the nearby Mill Mountain Park, which features hiking and biking trails, picnic areas, and the iconic Roanoke Star, one of the largest man-made stars in the world. 

This combination of natural beauty and engaging attractions makes a trip to Mill Mountain Zoo a memorable and rewarding experience.

The zoo is open seven days a week from 10 am to 5 pm, with the last admission at 4 pm. For weather-related closings and updates, visitors should check the zoo’s website. Admission prices vary, and discounts are available for military personnel and veterans with ID.

For more information, visit their website or call +1 540-343-3241.

Bottom Line

Mill Mountain Zoo is more than just a place to see animals; it’s a destination that fosters a deep connection to nature and wildlife. 

With its scenic setting, diverse animal collection, educational programs, and conservation efforts, the zoo offers a unique and inspiring experience for all who visit. Whether you’re a resident or a traveler exploring the wonders of Virginia, a trip to Mill Mountain Zoo will surely be a highlight of your journey.

Just as Mill Mountain Zoo excels in animal care and education, JMAX Property Management excels in maintaining high standards of property care, managing and preserving property value, and promoting a positive tenant experience. JMAX ensures that landlords achieve their goals of investment preservation and tenant satisfaction.