Explore the most popular Bird Watching trails near Salem with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

nice smooth trail. also it's not a difficult hike with some beautiful views fun for all ages

The trail was well kept, clear white blazes to keep you on track. I arrived at the trail at almost 7am and it was only a few people parked. When I reached the knob, I was actually surprised how few people there were. At one point, it was just me and one other person and it is all well worth it. I am glad though because on my way back , it was a lot of people trying to hike to the top.

3 days ago

Great hike, but not for novice backpackers. Started around 1530 from recommended parking and headed north on AT; climbs aren’t too bad up to Macfee Knob and Tinker cliffs. Crashed near shelter off AT on north side of tinkercliffs (it’s about .6 mi out of your way but it’s got solid water). Arrived around 2030. Next day took off around 0930 and headed up the various trails to chatawba trail (which is a climb); then headed south on North Mountain trail. Which has a fair amount of ups and downs as you traverse the north mountain ridges. Once I got to that road on the south end (might have been 301 or 311, I decided to skip ~3mile detour to dragon tooth and bAnged left on that road. Stopped at gas station/pizza place for a nice slice and some coffee before pushing up to newport rd, banging a right to link back up with AT North. Pushed up through the orchards and up over the mountains until I got back to parking around 2120. Good times

Brutal hike with great views. Pack as light as possible for this trip, because it will take its toll on you very quickly.

Good hike.
Great view at the top.

Due to the recent weather partially muddy. But a nice hike. Beautiful view!

Fun hike very cold

Hiked this trail yesterday. Very muddy and wet at times because all of the snow melted. Some spots had a little bit of ice. The beginning and end of the trail can be difficult with the elevation gain and rocky terrain. However, the middle of the trail is very relaxing with pretty views (probably hidden when everything is in bloom). The overlook is gorgeous! It was very windy and chilly there though. This trail seemed more like 8.5 miles or so. We were able to complete it in 3 hours.

This was a difficult hike for me, since I don’t hike that often, and I was approaching 50 when I hiked it a few years ago. The view was AMAZING, and I’m glad I could mark it off my list. Not sure I want to hike it again, though.

Good day hike, or even better as a section of a loop hike. Linking this with Tinker Cliffs or completing the entire Triple Crown is a great hike. Can get rocky and steep in some parts, and it's pretty much always crowded. This is the most visited spot on the AT.

Completed this hike during the summertime, and can definitely say that it is a must do when in Southwestern Va. The trail itself can be completed with relative ease for those who are physically fit. But when starting out though it can seem to take forever to reach the outlook, as the trail is seven miles after all with sections being both steep and partly rocky.
And once you reach the summit of McAfee Knob, well it will definitely be worth it. to see the valley below and surrounding peaks.

Walking the trail turned out basically walking on a shallow creek. It was really muddy but the snow is everywhere making the trip very eye catching. Perfect for pictures. Great for picture. We can’t make it all the way to the rock due time restrictions to do other activities in Roanoke. No doubt this must be in your bucket list.

Mileage is closer to 8.3-8.5 RT and this is not a loop. It's and out and back. Zero views until the knob, but the knob makes up for it ten fold. one of the best views in the East. I've don't it several times and each time has been Incredible. Sunrise is when you want to be here. Several camp sites along the way with the closest maybe 1/4 mile from the top. Camping at the top is prohibited.

Great hike... Seemed a bit longer than it actually was. Great views and tough workout, the trail isn't as flat as it appears on the map. The AT is up and down basically the whole way from DT to Tinker Cliffs. North Mountain was my favorite part of the loop, not many people and great views along the ridge the entire way. We ended up doing this hike over 3 nights. Light is right for this trip, don't be hauling around 40lbs.

Great trail, well maintained and a beautiful place to get away.

Somehow I paused my trail recording and I missed about half a mile. Regardless, DO THIS HIKE! Plan on spending an entire day on this, especially if you traveled for it. (from Powhatan VA). The entire way there we were surrounded with different views of mountains and giant rocks, you can even look at the mountain you just climbed and say, “would you look at that?”
My dogs did just fine as well, they had a blast and followed me everywhere I went!
The view is ASTOUNDING! A complete 180 degree view of the lovely valley and the mountains surrounding you. However, there were tons of college kids there from VT throwing logs off the cliff until I said something to them. They could have hit someone traveling below...idiots.

Beautiful view at the end, very worth it! This is a long but fairly easy hike as the ups and downs don't come all at once. You'll do a little up, and little down and it doesn't typically keep you climbing or descending for too long one way or the other. Current trail conditions are decent not a lot of mud or ice throughout. The last 1/4 mile or so has some ice which makes the final climb quite slippery (2/1/2019).

Absolutely amazing at the top! I'd hike up this trail every week and would never get bored, as I would still marvel at the beauty of God's creation!

Breathtaking views from the knob. Worth every step of the hike.

Make sure you bring water, it is a long hike!

I love McAfee Knob. View at the top is amazing. This is a bucket list hike for many people and for that reason I give it 5 stars however I urge everyone to go out and check out the other amazing hikes this area has to offer with hikes such as tinker cliffs, dragons tooth and sharp top.

No wonder this is the most photographed place on the Appalachian Trail! The view from the top is amazing. The hike was moderate in difficulty. Took the fire road back. Lots of resting spots with more amazing scenery.

One of the best hikes I've ever done. The hike itself is steady and fairly easy, not much to write home about. The view at the top is incredible and well worth it, even in the rain. Most photographed spot on the AT for very good reason. You can see the Blue Ridges in every direction and it was hard for me to pull myself away and hike back down.

Great hike. But... ouch. Beautiful views... but yowsah. It was tough.

Great hike. Not difficult by any means and the trail is clearly marked. Try going early in the morning to avoid others. The photo ops at the top are stunning.

2 months ago

Fantastic hike! Not to be underestimated though, the elevation change and distance make this a formidable weekend challenge. That being said, we did it in a weekend (Friday-Sunday) but it was very taxing physically. The views from Mcaffe, Tinker cliffs, and Dragons tooth are great, each one better than the last. I would recommend getting as close to the North mountain trailhead as you can before making camp for the night so you can start it (with plenty of water, there are no water sources until a gas station/river at the end of the mountain) early and have the whole day to walk it. There are a good number of campsites along the ridge, the last one being about 1 mile from the end of the trail (so a little ways into the descent) which is where we camped because we could not make it all the way to the end. After north mountain, there is a much easier hike up to dragons tooth, although the last portion is a scramble. We left our bags on an outcrop and went to dragons tooth and back with only a water bottle and some snacks, highly recommended. The hike from dragons tooth back is very scenic, and features some great mountainous/woodland regions but also highlands and fields. A great hike! Would recommend: starting early on Friday if you want to do it in three days and not be rushed, and being able to carry a days worth of water (for drinking and cooking dinner if you plan to do so) for north mountain.

Had a great time first 3 day backpacking trip was a challenge but it was worth every second of it all!!

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.

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.

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