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Troutville, Virginia

Hike McAfee Knob

8.8 Miles Total - 1740 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Christin Healey

McAfee's Knob offers up classic Blue Ridge views with great photography opportunities at the summit. This is also a great intro to hiking on the AT.

From the parking lot on RT311: Cross the road and pick up the white blazed AT headed north. In about .4 miles you will reach an information kiosk where you will continue on the AT. About half way through the hike you will pass Johns Spring Shelter first, then Catawba Mountain Shelter where there is a spring with a white pipe for the constant (and only) water source on the hike. About 1 mile from the summit, you will cross over an old fire road and the AT will bear to the left for the summit -- all of the trail has clear signage and white blazes.

This is a steady climb to the summit, with an elevation gain of 1740ft over the 4.4 miles to the top from the parking lot at RT311, so it's a great workout. The hike is through the woods until you reach the summit, where you will have some of the best views of the Southern Shenandoah Valley as well as the photogenic rock overlook. For your return, simply retrace your steps for a total 8.8 mile hike. OR, if you are photographing at sunset, you may opt to take the fire road back to RT311, shaving 1/2 mile off the trip, and making the return in the dark through the woods much easier (I highly recommend doing this or camping if you want a sunset or sunrise summit!).

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Tags

Camping
Photography
Backpacking
Hiking
Bathrooms
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Best At Sunrise

Hands down one of my favorite sunrise hikes. If you don’t want to wake up incredibly early, you can backpack to one of the campgrounds/shelters and stay overnight and wake up to hike the rest of the way for sunrise the next morning. That’s what I did.

over 2 years ago

Amazing Views

The hike was so iconic as it followed along the Appalachian Trail, you pass 2 AT shelters along the way. It just shows you how amazing it is to take a journey that large!

almost 3 years ago

One Of My Favorites

This is one of my favorite local hikes although these days it's a really busy trail the 8 mile round trip is worth the view though last time we hiked it we went to watch the sunset from the top and didn't realize how fast the trail got dark so being unprepared as we were it was a little rough at times.

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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