Hike McAfee Knob

8.8 Miles Round Trip - 1740 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

McAfee's Knob Trailhead - Search Nearby - 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!).

Tags

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

Details

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

Stay Nearby

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Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Ashlyn Schaub

over 3 years ago

Peaceful

This one is a perfect "I wanna get out but not work too hard" hike. It is a long 7 miles but the trail is incredibly easy. Not strenuous at all. We saw a bear cub last spring walk right across the trail.

Picture Perfect

All around great beginner dayhike. If you're just getting into hiking, the Fire Road alternative to the AT is a great way to the top. A lot less strenuous and more direct. same starting point and easily seen when the hike begins. The views are just picture perfect. Also If you can manage to head there on a week day that'd be best, for it can get quite busy.

Zach Hoopes

over 3 years ago

Get there for sunrise

To avoid some crowds and enjoy a really unique hike, don your headlamps and get up to McAfee's to watch the sun rise over the mountains to the east. The hike itself is not particularly difficult, the gradual ascent is manageable, but if you don't want to take it you can walk along the fire trail about half way to the top before connecting with the trail again.