McAfee Knob via Appalachian Trail is a 7.6 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
7.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1,591 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
12 days ago

8-17, One of the best east coast hikes. The overlook is so picturesque and emblematic of VA’s AT. We went on a very clear afternoon. Lots of climbing but well worth it. Took us about 4 hours.

hiking
16 days ago

The hike is actually 4.2 to the Overlook..take the AT to the Knob, better trail but I took the fire trail down to Rt 311 parking lot.. total trail was a 8.6 mile loop. Both trails lead to the outlook trail inlet
Definitely worth the seeing this on a sunny day you can see mountains for miles.

hiking
16 days ago

This hike was a bucket list one for me and it did not disappoint. The last mile or so is the hardest but the view is one of the greatest i have ever seen. Me and a buddy at lunch there on one of the quieter spots on the cliffs just did not want to leave.

hiking
17 days ago

Virginia moderate is way different from Indiana moderate but it was worth the challenge and was a great hike

Well traveled loop, save your energy for the stretch to the top!

hiking
21 days ago

A truly pleasant hike with outstanding views.

hiking
23 days ago

I hiked this on 11/12/18 and despite being rather overcast, the views were still stunning at the summit. I spent the night in the parking lot and started out at sunrise. This was a great hike, and a truly rewarding experience. Leaves and some sprinkling rain made parts rather slippery, but was all to be expected in mid-November.

25 days ago

We did this hike with our dog last weekend and it was amazing! We got there at 7:30 am on Saturday and got the last actual parking spot in the lot, so definitely get there early. We did the trail up and the fire road back. Trail is definitely more difficult but it’s fun for the way up. The views at the top are absolutely amazing and definitely worth it!

hiking
29 days ago

Beautiful views. We took the fire road up and back. Overall took just under 4 hours with breaks and time at the summit. Very crowded in the parking lot, so make sure you get there early so you don’t have to park on the side of the road and get a ticket as I saw others getting.

hiking
29 days ago

Good hike for a day trip. We took the fire road up and down because it was easier. I overpacked and should have only carried extra water snacks/food, and layers of clothes. It took is 3 hours or so up and back. Rested at the top for an hour. Beautiful views from the top. The rest of the route had limited views. I got a parking ticket for parking on the side of the highway since the lot was full ($15 fine). Pretty crowded on the trail.

30 days ago

well maintained trail with easy access from the parking lot. Took about 2 hours each way with minimal difficulty and plenty of photographs. The ridge above the main trail is worth walking. Once you make it to the overlook you won't be disappointed even in foggy conditions!

hiking
30 days ago

Loved it! I went for a sunset hike in October during peak foliage and it was beautiful! Lots of pretty scenery and rock formations to climb on. Sunrise would be better because the rock at the top faces east. But still super incredible!

camping
1 month ago

hiked up late on Friday. The clouds blocked our view. Camped near Cambell shelter, braved the rain, wind and cold weather and a much better view in the morning.

1 month ago

Didn’t get a chance to do the trail. Cops were ticketing everyone that wasn’t in the parking lot. Going right down the line with tickets. Be careful where you park. Guess I have to find another hike now.

hiking
1 month ago

Breathtaking views! Worth the mud and narrow parts of the trail. Steady hike but could use more trail markings.

1 month ago

The most beautiful view!!

1 month ago

Awesome views

1 month ago

I like this hike, a bit long but totally worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing! Definitely a hike that feels as if you are on top of the world ⛰

hiking
1 month ago

One of the best hikes I have been on. My wife and I did this one this morning. Weather was perfect. Definitely gets a little strenuous in the last mile to the top. It’s just a slow and steady climb but so worth the view!

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful 7.6 mile hike that falls somewhere near moderate difficulty. Parking lot area is on the side of the road, which you must cross to start the hike. Trail follows along next to a fire road most of the way. McAfee Knob is breath taking.

hiking
1 month ago

It was a rainy morning when we went but things had cleared once we arrived. We were able to complete the hike in less than 3 hours, not including our rest at the top. Make sure to start the way up on the regular trail then taking the fire trail down. The trail is a little slippery so hiking boots or sturdy shoes suggested. Great hike and even more amazing views.

1 month ago

Best hike of the year so far for me!!

hiking
1 month ago

Really nice trail and fantastic view of Virginia farmland at the top. Highly recommend.

hiking
1 month ago

very nice, moderate hike. we did the AP up and the fire road back which took about 4.5 hours. Fire road much easier path. I like the sort stretches of steep elevation change and then nice meandering paths between. Wonderful views at the top. definitely worth it. we started about 8:45 and parking lot full. ar 1:30 when we finished it was a zoo in the parking lot.

1 month ago

Great hike

hiking
1 month ago

This is the classic AT trail in Virginia and a great one at that. A little muddy in parts due to recent rain, but trail was great. Jammed on a beautiful fall Saturday, but that’s to be expected. Made it to the top in about two hours (solo hiker, light load). About the same back (took it a little slower). A must do.

backpacking
2 months ago

One of the Iconic stops on the AT. good hike not too difficult. Fire road gives easy access up and back, but highly recommend Tinker Cliffs also.

hiking
2 months ago

Did this with my sons... it was a well marked trail, and we didn’t get lost or turned around as I tend to do! Take plenty of water and watch out for copperheads. We saw a big one that blended in perfectly with the sand on the trail.

hiking
2 months ago

Definitely one of our favorite trails. Great trek, great views. We really enjoyed this one. We took the fire trail down to give our dogs a break. We learned you can also take the fire trail up.

2 months ago

great views ! spent the night at Campbell camp and watched the sunrise .

Load More