McAfee Knob via Appalachian Trail [CLOSED]

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Catawba, Virginia

McAfee Knob via Appalachian Trail [CLOSED] is a 8.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Catawba, Virginia that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 8.1 miles Elevation Gain: 1,843 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

closed

It has been reported this trail has a temporary closure due to COVID-19. Please see the park's website for up to date information. Also pay attention to "no parking" signs - you will get ticketed or towed. 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
2 days ago

Update on being “closed” - i did this trail today, 6/2/2020. Started up at 830 with 2 kids - we saw nobody on the walk up, saw about 20 people on our way down. The Parking lot is closed but everyone appears to be parking on Rte 864 just east of the parking lot < 0.15 miles. The fact that the beaches are open and this trail isnt is a little silly. Could also make the trail work in one direction and the fire road the other if they wanted to be creative.

8 days ago

Awesome hike. Did this back in March 2020. Trail is well maintained and the terrain is relatively easy. Also 3 shelters along the way. Most photographed spot on the AT!

hiking
12 days ago

It is still closed, parking lot is barricaded.

hiking
14 days ago

Is the trail still closed? Also can you camp along this route? If so, where’s the best spot? Thanks homies!

hiking
14 days ago

Is this trail still closed?

hiking
14 days ago

Heavily trafficked but beautiful trail!

17 days ago

Just an fyi- This trail is always heavily patrolled. I saw two rangers, who hiked up to the knob, hand out tickets. Also don't ignore no parking signs. They WILL tow you. There were two bad fatalities as a result of illegal parking.

hiking
18 days ago

One of my favorite hikes in Virginia. The view at the top is spectacular. Went in February when it was below freezing, so I only encountered two or three people on the trail. Totally worth it for the solitude. If you take the fire road, it’s not too strenuous. Completed in 4-5 hours!

1 month ago

really great trail. heavily trafficked but well worth all the extra congestion. The views are absolutely amazing. probably my favorite section of the AT.

hiking
1 month ago

Late entry, but a great hike with one of the best views on the AT. If you are in the Roanoke/Blacksburg/Salem/Lynchburg area, you will not go wrong doing this hike. Easily my favorite hike in that area of Virginia.

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail, the grade and distance pair well with each other, not too steep at any points, fairly easy terrain, awesome view at the top, one of the nicest I've done in the Roanoke area. Great hike to get a sunrise view, definitely recommend trying it

closed
1 month ago

Thursday, April 16. McAfee knob is CLOSED. THERE WAS A GUARD on the trail. his truck was hidden up the dirt road, so you can't know if its guarded from the drop off spot. parking lot is barricaded. it is truly off limits, at least today with the guard. we heard there was a guard on trail yesterday. SO UNCOOL.

hiking
closed
1 month ago

[PARKING ACCESS TO TRAIL IS CLOSED] Love hiking this trail and was going to hike it this morning, sadly the parking lot that allows you to access the fire road and the Appalachian trail has been closed off.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Absolutely beautiful trail. I’m in awe at the overlook at the top. Kinda strenuous, but totally worth it!

hiking
bugs
1 month ago

Great trail! easy climb if you're using the fire road, a bit more time along the Appalachian trail. Phenomenal view at the top.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Loved this hike! It took almost all day to complete but it was worth it. I loved the overlook and I plan to hike again soon! :)

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike. Weather was perfect and the view is incredible, could see all the mountain ranges. Would definitely put this in the moderate range. Add it to your to do list!

hiking
bugs
muddy
2 months ago

Very busy but the view at the end was spectacular. We took the fire road up most of the way as we were trying to catch the sunrise and it was still dark. It was very muddy.

hiking
muddy
rocky
2 months ago

The trail was pretty easy and then has a steady incline for a bit. We went after it rained so it was pretty muddy. The views from the top are definitely worth the hike!

hiking
muddy
rocky
2 months ago

This trail is crowded! We went in the early afternoon and the parking lot was packed. It was rocky and muddy at times but overall well maintained. The overlook of the valley is beautiful! We loved it!

hiking
2 months ago

Who doesn’t love this hike?!

3 months ago

A really pretty hike. Not sure if it's worth the hype, but it certainly draws the crowds.

3 months ago

Beautiful sunrise! Well worth the early hike.

hiking
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
muddy
3 months ago

hiking
icy
muddy
rocky
3 months ago

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