Hike to the Keffer Oak on the Appalachian Trail

    2.6 miles 600 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

    Added by Elyse Clark

    Visit this 300-year-old (60' tall) white oak tree, the second largest on the entire Appalachian Trail.

    You can park your car at the small gravel lot where VA-42 and Rt. 629 intersect. Starting from the Appalachian Trail crossing at VA-42,  head north on the AT, which winds through some grass meadows. After about 0.8 miles into the hike you will cross Rt. 630 (Northside Road) on a bridge over Sinking Creek. The trail continues to the right side of the creek. 

    From here it is a short 0.5 miles to the Keffer Oak. You won't miss this tree. It is 300 years old, with a circumference of 18-20 feet. There is a cleared area here with some logs to sit on and rest under the tree. 

    Once finished, walk the 1.3 miles back to your car by retracing your steps south on the AT. 

    *Note: For a shorter hike, park at the Rt. 630 bridge where the AT crosses Sinking Creek and head 0.5 miles north on the AT to see the Keffer Oak.  

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    Easy Parking

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    Rate this Adventure

    good run

    Did this trail as a run and really enjoyed it. Big, open meadows made for a relaxing run with expansive views. The tree was fun to finally see, as I'd heard it about it over the years but never saw in person.


    over 3 years ago

    Fun Hike, Wrong Road

    Once we figured out which direction to go on the AT the hike was fairly nice. A long gentle field uphill followed by a shorter but steeper down before we got to the "shortcut" point (which is on rt 629 not 630). The uphill to the tree is a lot steeper than expected for a beginner hike but it isn't far to the tree which is pretty impressive after all

    Summer Blackberries

    I love this short hike! The huge oak is surrounded by a blackberry field. There's also some logs to sit on under the oak, making it a perfect place for a picnic!

    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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