McAfee Knob via Appalachian Trail

MODERATE 531 reviews

McAfee Knob via Appalachian Trail is a 7.7 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Salem, Virginia that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1561 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

This is a slow and steady climb to the most photographed spot on the Appalachian Trail. Base elevation is the elevation given at the parking area, 2,000'. The peak at McAfee Knob is 3,171', giving it some of the best views in the state. Please leave no trace and be mindful of trash! This trail sees a large number of traffic and has been having problems with rising trash, illegal camping and misuse of the area. The Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club maintains this section of trail and volunteers regularly pack out trash and maintain campsites to keep it beautiful. Park rules and regulations are enforced: Maximum group size, day hikes: 25 Maximum group size, backpacking/camping: 10 No alcohol Dogs must be kept on leash at all times No camping or campfires outside of 7 designated areas ( north of Va 624/Newport Rd, the only legal campsites are Johns Spring Shelter, Catawba Shelter and campsites, Pig Farm campsite, Campbell Shelter and Lambert’s Meadow Shelter and campsites) No camping or campfires on McAfee Knob or Tinker Cliffs

hiking
27 minutes ago

Fun and easy hike with what I imagine is an incredible view! Unfortunately it was 100% foggy, preventing you from seeing more than 10 yards ahead, but the fog did add a fun, erie feel to the hike. Terrain was easy and with an hour stop at the top took 4hrs to complete the 8 mi RT hike. Saw people in passing on the trail and a small group at the top but it never felt too crowded and everyone was super friendly! Will definitely be back on a clear and sunny day to take in the knob in all of its beauty!

hiking
2 days ago

I did an out and back on the AT section instead of the loop and the hike was still a must do in my books. Definitely worth the trip from PA. It's rated moderate because of the inclines but no scrambling. Lots of people. Lots of friendly pups. All the breathtaking views. And there was even a proposal to watch on the knob.

16 days ago

Gorgeous view, easy hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Nice hike. Easy trail until you get to the last mile, and then you get some good exercise. The trail stays in the woods until the last second which makes the view at the top just seem to jump out at you. I went on a cool day in fall and the trail was not as busy as I read about. I got to the top and had the view to myself for about a half hour.

1 month ago

Awesome hike. Stunning view at the top!

1 month ago

my best friend danny irving goes here to VT tech and loves this trail and raves about it all the time whatta guy this guy he is

hiking
1 month ago

2 months ago

This was a longer hike than I expected and probably because my 73 year-old mother joined us. I would say it was more easy than moderate. The views at the knob were amazing, but there is no scenic view on your way to the knob.

2 months ago

Great trail and the view from the top is absolutely amazing! Definitely worth the effort

2 months ago

awesome hike

2 months ago

We had a great time. Highly recommend if you find an opportunity to stop there to enjoy the view.

2 months ago

This is one of the most photographed spots on the AT for a reason. Easy access from the highway with a clearly marked AT Trail to follow. If you do the AT the whole way and stay off the fire road it is more like 8 miles or more. The Trail is moderately difficult. The view is amazing and the rock formation continues around the corner so explore beyond the most popular "diving board" spot for some great photo spots and views of the Catawba valley. Get there early on nice days because it gets crowded and the parking lot fills up.

backpacking
2 months ago

We hiked this trail this morning in 4:12. The trail is not real technical but at this pace I️ found it challenging. There is some good elevation loss and gain. I️ think Moderate is a good designation. I️ met several older couples on the trail that were negotiating it quite handily at a pace comfortable to them. The trails are well maintained and the views at the top make the hike time well spent.

hiking
3 months ago

It was a pretty fun hike! The whole area was covered in dense fog so their were not many views at all. But once you get to the top there are places to go off trail and explore and that was very fun!

3 months ago

Good hike on the trail & easy to moderate hike on fire lane. I’m biased on how much I love this hike as we got engaged at the peak last night. We’ll be back with the kids!!

hiking
3 months ago

Easy trail to follow, took the Fire Road. Moderate hike with the exception of only a few steeper climbs. Gorgeous views! Mountains for miles. Had a quick lunch at the top, 4.5 hours total.

hiking
3 months ago

amazing views at the top! out and back apx 8 miles total, moderately difficult.

hiking
3 months ago

I did this hike yesterday, took me four hours at a moderate pace and plenty of stops for pictures. Wouldn’t really call this a loop, as it’s more fun to take the AT portion out and back instead of the Fire Road. The challenging part of this hike is managing the terrain. The Fire Road is easy and flat, but the AT portion is very rocky. Nice view at the crest of McAfee Knob.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike on a Sunday afternoon, picked up some trash on the way back down. If you pack it in, please pack it back out!!

backpacking
3 months ago

This was an excellent inaugural backpacking trek for my gf and I. It def proved itself to be challenging and such a gorgeous view from the top. I’ll be back. Soon!

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