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Hiker Reviews for the McAfee Knob Hike - 1 to 84 of 84   
Review the McAfee Knob hike here!   Average Review Rating:

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, June 14, 2017
This 8 mile roundtrip hike is well worth the climb. Mid-Week and warm day had few people on the trail and we almost had the top to ourselves. Awesome views and photo opportunities. We encountered a beautiful yellow phased timber rattlesnake 30 yards from the top who crossed into the laurel in front of us so be aware of the natural inhabitants of this beautiful spot. With time to enjoy the top this was a 4 1/2 hour roundtrip for us. Take lots of water on a hot day:)

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 06, 2017
This is one of those iconic AT hikes you just have to do. Nothing hard about the hike or particularly long, but the views over the Catawba Valley are spectacular and you just have to get your photo at the overhanging rock, if you're a hiker.

I'm guessing there is no solitude ever on this hike as it may be the most hiked section of the AT. On the return leg from the summit to the parking lot, I counted over 150 hikers headed up and this was on a cloudy, cold, windy, rainy morning. It was our unfortunate timing to be in the area on a spring Saturday. If you can arrange to be there on a weekday, no doubt it will be much less crowded.

Parking: get there early or forget about it. If you are in multiple vehicles, carpool from the park-and-ride lot near I-81. We arrived at 7:32am and the 50-car lot was already 3/4 full. The sheriff's office is towing those who are not in the lot don't get towed.

Trip report and photos: https://mangiabeve.blogspot.com/2017/05/mcafee-knob-catawba-va.html

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Great Hike. I was doing the whole Triple Crown/North Mtn loop, so I didn't return the same way, but headed across the ridge to Tinker Cliffs. The view from McAfee Knob is legendary and did not disappoint! It was crystal clear with a cold wind blowing, and the view was simply amazing. Blue Ridge as far as I could see! I'm not sure if I would even give this a three for difficulty, and I'm a middle-aged out-of-shape guy. I saw no one else on the whole trail, but this was due to the fact that it was late March on a Wednesday. When I got back to the McAfee Knob trailhead on Friday, it was packed, so if you're doing this in warmer weather or on the weekends, you'll need to get to the parking lot very early to get a space. Definitely a hike to have on your bucket list, though mid-week is probably the time to go.

By: Shari Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, December 22, 2016
This was an excellent hike! Hiked it on a Thursday in December right before Christmas. There were several other people hiking that day but it was definitely not crowded. It was not as hard as I was expecting and parts of the trail were fairly wide and easy to walk on, but it did get steeper the closer we got to the top. It was just a great day hike with spectacular views at the top. It was a little chillier at the top than on the way up (to be expected) so just bring a hat and gloves and you'll be all set. An amazing hike!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, November 04, 2016
This is a wonderful hike! I went for two days and one night. Both days were absolutely beautiful!The first day I set up my tent just past the second shelter on the A.T. in the designated camping area, then I proceeded the rest of the way to the overlook.I spent a couple hours at the overlook taking pictures and video.Then I headed back down to my campsite for the night.There was a creek at the bottom of the hill from my campsite but it was dryed up,but I brought two 33oz water bottles and had plenty of water.The temperature dripped down to 39f.There was a privy near each of the shelters and a metal bear food lock box near the second shelter.My first day was on a Friday and there were a decent amount of people there but when I left on Saturday the place was packed with people and the parking lot was over full.Some people were parking on the side of the road.This hike has a lot of good scenery on the way to the top and the overlook is just amazing!Happy Hiking!

By: Guy Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, October 14, 2016
Nice hike first mile a little hard and last mile uphill and a little hard . McAfee Knob is 8.63 miles from parking lot to top and back 20.254 steps is what I got on my pedometer Parking lot is very nice big . The walk to the top is very nice dog friendly and you get to talk with some awesome people . Very much worth you time to walk this trail the views are great I'm over 50 and my wife is also I have diabetes and feet problems although when I'm on a trail I love the woods and the great outdoors . Hope you get a chance to walk this trail and enjoy the woods .

By: Mark from GB Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 09, 2016
After two days of rain, some fueled by hurricane Matthew, I didn't know what to expect as far as the condition of the trail. When I pulled into the parking area on 311 a little after 9AM, it was already full. Luckily, a parking attendant (which was a surprise) directed me to park around the corner on 864. While I came across many hikers on the trail on this sunny, but cooler Sunday (including a trio that had hiked all the way from Maine), I totally enjoyed the beauty of the woods and the peace that came once I had gotten a little distance from the roadway. There were a couple of spots that the trail got a little damp, but not an issue as to keeping my feet dry. Once I made the summit, it was windy as heck but that did not take away from the view on this crystal clear day. We don't have mountains like this in Wisconsin, but I have explored a good portion of the National Ice Age Trail, which traverses the state. While my hamstrings were burning a little by the time I made it back to my vehicle, I thoroughly enjoyed that I took the opportunity during a rare business trip to the area to explore some of the Appalachian trail.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 09, 2016
It was the perfect day for a hike. We took the fire road. It was challenging for me it took about 3 hours to get there, only 2 hours coming down. The crisp cool wind, the sun warming up the perfectly blue sky. It was very rewarding making it to the top.

By: Tammy Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, September 09, 2016
Had been wanting to do this hike for a while. There are 2 ways up ..you can take the AT or the Fire Trail. We had planned on camping at the Campbell Shelter and to hike back up to watch the Sunrise. With a group of  basic hikers we started up. The weather was in the mid  80s to low 90s. We took the AT up and with each of us loaded down with 80lb -45lb packs ..we stopped at the first shelter to readjust some packs and take a break. Surprisingly there were lots of down trails which meant you were going to get more steep up hills soon. We left there and headed to the next shelter which we knew there was a natural spring there to replenish some of our water supply. When we got to the Catawba shelter the spring was not working. There was a note on the shelter saying it was no longer active...so we hiked down to where there was supposed to be a small creek and it too was dry. There was a small puddle that we filter a little out of but not enough to refill what we needed. We made the decision to camp there at the campsites and that left us with 1.5 mile hike to the knob left. After setting up camp and not having all our gear on us a few us hiked up to the knob. It is pretty much a straight up hike from this point and it is a little tough. What felt like the longest 1.5 miles Iv ever hiked was all erased from my mind and exhausted legs when you finally make it to the Knob. The view is amazing and pictures just dont do it justice. There were only a few people at the top for the sunset which made it even more amazing because it wasnt crowded. We talked to a few thru hikers who warned us that the creek at the Pig Farm and Campbell shelter was also very low and they too were on the hunt for more water.So with that information we decided to cut the trip short bc we had a big group and a baby also and with the heat and not enough water supply we were not going to take the chances. We hiked the fire trail back down. So if you do this as a day hike or a weekend hike...the easier route is going to be the fire trail. There are a lot of ups and downs also on the fire trail but not any where like the AT. The only thing I wish is there was a note on the info board in the parking lot to warn you that the water supply is low and the spring is not active. This information would have made us a lot more aware of what was ahead. Its still a hike that you have to do at least once in your life if you can.

By: Katherine Hurst Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, August 09, 2016
took the hard way up. next trip I will go up the fire road. From the parking lot turn left just a couple hundred feet go thru the gate and follow the road. Much easier up. the trail is harder but more scenic. If you are going up the trail be careful when you get to the campsite. easy to miss the trail to the left. Look for the white strike mark on the trees. You can come down the trail. the was road is definitely the easier up. Beautiful views. I will be back. Make sure to take plenty of water. I'm 55 and was sore a few days after but it was worth every step.

By: Heidi W Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 29, 2016
Been wanting to do this one for a couple of years, so far, one of my favorite hikes...challenging, but not extreme. We got to the parking lot just before 9a and there were several parking spaces left The threat of rain probably kept many hikers away...so glad we went ahead with our plans...only a couple raindrops here and there. View was amazing...we ended up spending about 45 minutes at the top. We did fire road, a little easier on the joints! Great hike with the dog! Description and time is spot on!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, May 18, 2016
This was a fun hike. Seemed longer than the 7.8 miles. I would have rated it 5 stars but it was foggy the day I hiked it and couldn't see much. I plan on going back when I know the view will be better. It took me 5 hours to complete the hike but stopped at the top for about a half hour. Legs were sore afterward but not bad for a 64 year old.

By: Dayhiker Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, April 13, 2016
My favorite hike in Southwest VA thus far. Incredible views! Your directions and descriptions are entirely accurate. I used my gps and had the exact mileage as you did, however the signs on the trail were off about .25 of a mile. We accidentally got off of the AT close to the beginning of the hike and that was disappointing at first. But, when we left the Knob, we were able to go back the entire way on the AT so it worked out and I was glad that we were able to do both trails because the scenery was different from the fire trail. I actually recommend going up the fire trail and going back down the AT route. The AT trail is much more strenuous, so if you have joint issues you may want to do only the fire trail. We went midweek and still encountered about 20 others hiking the trail. The weather was perfect (about 55 with a cool wind) and the mountain laurel were in full bloom. I highly recommend this trail!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, December 11, 2015
It was amazing! If anyone found my hiking poles in the parking lot please email me! I just bought them so I only used them once on this hike so I'm a little bummed out! cheran.williams@gmail.com

By: Boot Flusher Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, November 02, 2015
Great Hike! On a scale of 1 to 10 (difficulty) I'd say it's a 6.5. The view is Epic! You know you want to do it! Go!

By: Jesica M Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 24, 2015
Not too crowded. Moderate but was easy for me without a pack. It was a little longer than I expected. My RunKeeper clocked me in at 3 hours 48 minutes and 8.12 miles

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, October 15, 2015
First of all I need to start by saying that I hike an average of two day hikes a yr and am not active much the rest of the time. However, I decided to backpack up and stay the night which added 35 lbs to my back. But, I still made it!! It's a very doable hike. I'd say probably on the higher side of moderate. It was strenuous with my pack. I went on a Thursday because of it being fall and all the other reviews say to arrive early do to parking. I figured going midweek would be my best bet. I'm glad I did. There were still quite a few people up there, but not bad. The views at the top were just unbelievable. I can't describe them. Worth the climb. I hiked about a mile farther north to Campbell shelter to camp. It's a nice site. There is a good water source although it could use some maintenance. In the am I hiked back up to the knob to see the sun rise. Again, just amazing. Coming back down on Friday is when I really learned that my midweek choice was the best decision. I was back down to the parking lot by 9:30 and there was a wait to park. I'd do this hike again in a heart beat. Pack and all. I'd strengthen my knees some first though. If you have weak knees, the descent is a bear.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 10, 2015
First of a two hike weekend (McAfee/Dragon Tooth) with a wonderful group of ladies. Unfortunately, the rain set in late the night before and throughout our morning hike. The rain stopped about 10 minutes before reaching the top which was nice but due to the fog you couldnt see anything but fog and peoples shadows. The experience with the fog throughout the hike was spooky. Hiking with sunshine would have been great but the rain made it an experience very much enjoyed. The hike was not too strenuous and well worth it. All the hikers at the top, mostly VT students were extremely polite and enjoyable. Parking lot was packed so be prepared if you may have to wait for a spot unless you dont mind being towed.

By: Matt Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, September 18, 2015
This is a great hike. The views are spectacular and I'm glad I came back. I came in June and it was extremely foggy. Although it was a great hike you couldn't see 20 feet in front of you, so I had to come back and I'm glad I did. It is very popular, so be sure to get there early if you want a parking spot on the weekend. *****Something to make note of is that you will need to pack in any water that you will need.***** All water sources were completely dried up when we hiked the trail both times. Not a big deal for a day hike, but if you plan to spend any amount of time out there you should be aware so you can carry what you will need for the duration.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, August 31, 2015
Challenging hike with a wonderful payout at the end. The views are amazing. However, don't take the bear warnings lightly! We encountered a Black Bear on our hike back where the AT crosses the fire road.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 09, 2015
Was staying in the area for the weekend and had the opportunity to take this hike up to McAfee Knob. It took me about 1:10 to get to the top and about the same to get back down. Started up at 9am and was able to enjoy the overlook with minimal number of people. Gotta do it again.

By: Ashley Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 01, 2015
This was my first hike out in this section, and boy did I underestimate my friends when they said it was a tough one. My friend who was here visiting is a much more seasoned hiker than I am, and even he was surprised by the difficulty. Regardless, if you have the stamina to make it, you won't be disappointed. The views were gorgeous, and we honestly didn't deal with too many people, starting out hike just after 8am. The lot was completely packed though when we finished at about 12:30ish. I highly recommend bringing sandwiches or something to eat at the top that's more than a quick snack. It really takes a lot out of you, and we were regretting not having something substantial before starting the hike back down. I am sure I'll do this one again, and hopefully will be better prepared, mentally, and with food!

By: Jeff S. Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 01, 2015
This was a great hike that had my heart beating fast and feet dragging at times.  It's a great workout both ways.  I arrived at 7:30 AM to about 15-20 cars in the parking lot.  Temp was 70 and sky was clear!  Took two hours to reach the Knob, meeting only a few hikers on their way back down.  Took an hour break up top.  The views were spectacular!  The rocky outcrops extend for a good bit, so be sure to explore them.  There were a dozen or so people up there, but it was still peaceful. Passed a whole lot more people coming up on my way back!  My advice: GET THERE AS EARLY AS POSSIBLE.  Upon my return, the parking lot had overflowed, with cars parked along the roadside.  Temperature was now 85.  Glad I got there early. 

By: Jonny E Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, July 09, 2015
Steamy and sunny beautiful day. Raspberries just coming into season, little snacks available near the beginning of trail. The Knob was pleasantly cool with breeze. Quite a few people, even on Thursday. Views are great (but don't expect solitude - hence 4 stars). Report of mountain lion in previous post is highly unlikely, much more likely is a goat. Multiple hikers I passed reported seeing it. Anyway, nice hike, crowded and beautiful as always.

By: Howard Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, June 19, 2015
Awesome hike!!! Lots of wildlife, even saw a pride of mountain lions!

By: Jessica C Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, June 18, 2015
We started hiking around 3am so we could make it to the top by sunrise. Everything was going well untill we had about 1.3 miles left. We were approaching the steps to start going up the mountain and off the trail when we encountered a mountain lion of some sort. We remained calm and slowly back away and went back down the trail.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 09, 2015
Wow.  Completed the hike in five hours total.  Would have stayed on the Knob longer but the flies were a real pest that day.  A little embarassed, somewhere along the way in preparation for this hike I read that it was only 2.2 miles to the top.  What I think I read was 2.2 hours, but for some reason I mixed the two up.  That was rectified when the trail sign at the parking area noted that it was 3.9 miles to the Knob.  My wife accused me of setting her up  but nevertheless we pressed on.  We got a little mixed up at the first junction with fire road and ended up taking it all the way to the point where it reunites with the AT.  Wow, walked so far already but still 1.3 miles to go to get to the Knob, but again, we pressed on - the ex-Navy in us kicked in and we fought through naysaying thoughts in our head.  It was well worth it!  Pictures don't do it justice.  If not for the flies, we would have stayed longer.  We did end up taking the AT all the way back to the 311 Parking area, which turned out to be blessing.  I know, most people do it the other way but we're trend setters, my wife and I.  So after the up and down return trip we were still glad we did it, though an 8.8 mile hike, which was our first serious hike of the year, was a heckuva way to start.  God bless my wife who spent her Mother's Day on the trail.  Great experience, will plan on doing it again the next time we're in the area.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, April 17, 2015
Led group of 6 hikers and awesome day with great weather and fantastic views from McAfee Knob.  Wildflowers and Mountain Laurel were blooming along the trail plus Red Bud trees.  Nice parking area with port-a-pot and privies at the two shelters along the AT. 

By: Courtney Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 21, 2015
This is a pretty long hike, make sure to bring a lot of water and lunch! The hike itself doesn't have a lot of views but once you get to the knob its breathtaking. People brought hammocks and stayed at the top. The fire road seems never ending.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, January 27, 2015
I only saw one other person today. Rather cold day but I could not tell -- warmed up with walking. My two small dogs and I enjoyed the solitude. The views from the knob will break your heart with majesty and beauty.

By: Davelovestacos Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 17, 2015
We hit this trail on a clear Saturday in January. There were hundreds of people on the trail and for good reason. This hike is moderately uphill to the knob. The incline is managable for almost any novice hiker. The view from the knob is amazing. Lots of great people to meet on trail. 9/10 would recommend.

By: Gmoney Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, January 10, 2015
Wow! Cold hike but well worth it in the winter. Views were amazing the entire way due to leafs being down and even more spectacular on the top. Doing it while cold also assured us plenty of space from fellow hikers. We didn't see anyone almost the entire way up. The fire road on the way back to the lot also provided great scenery with fallen leafs. Amazing and casual weekend hike.

By: Sue Eckroth Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, November 03, 2014
Wonderful hike on a beautiful clear day. The views are spectacular and since we went on a Monday not as busy but still quite a few people. Def heed warnings about crossing road to start and end your hike as it's on an extremely dangerous blind curve. If you decide to hike down fire road, it's best to turn left at sign when you are almost at the bottom of fire road so you can cross highway at slightly less dangerous and more visible spot.

By: Amish Raven Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 19, 2014
We drove in from Richmond, VA @ 7am - stopped for gas and breakfast - left the parking lot at 11am to hit the trail up. The four of us 2 adults 2 kids, took our time (we hike once per year) and this is the longest trip so far... stopped at both shelters on the way up, stayed 30 min at each (thankful for the outhouses) we traveled slowly, taking pictures, climbing the rocks, and enjoying the beautiful foliage. After the second shelter (2/3rds of the way up) the final 1.3 miles to the top is the hardest by far and the most steep. The kids stayed ahead of us the whole way, my wife and I struggled to the summit. BUT THAT VIEW IS AMAZING!! Climbing all over the rocks, sitting on the edges and letting your feet dangle... made it all worth while!! We rested at the top for an additional 30 min. leaving the ledge at 3:30pm. Many kids from the nearby colleges were going in groups and passing us older folk :) but that was just part of the adventure. Everyone was pleasant, the trail was neat and clean, & so were the shelters. A well maintained path, and trails... make this easy to navigate. We took the fire road back and shaved off a little time that way, without all the stops as we did on the way up. 4 hours up - 3 hours back... arrived at the car at 6:30pm and after getting more gas and food, arrived in Richmond at 10pm! Everything we have, hurts but the memories will outlast the aches and pains!!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 04, 2014
If you want a good hike that isn't too hard but has an excellent payoff in terms of views, I highly recommend McAfee Knob!

I am not in the best shape (11-12 minute mile run) and I finished this hike in about 3 hours and 15 minutes (including a 15-20 minute break at the top and using the AT to come down, not the fire road). Had it not been so chilly I think I could have stayed up there all day--it was gorgeous! I personally enjoyed the views from here more than Old Rag. It was packed because it was a Saturday (lots of Virginia Tech students), so I hope to come back on a weekday to try it again with less crowds.

So far, this has been my favorite hike that I've done!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 16, 2014
Did the hike up in 85 minutes via the appalacian and the hike down in 75 mintues via the fire road. Nothing much to see along the way. You should do the Hay Rock hike for more views. The view from the ledges at the top is brilliant though. 5 stars for the view at the top, 3 for the hike itself.

By: Jordan Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 16, 2014
My cousin and I hiked the trail to McAfee's knob this weekend. I had been to the Knob. I've been there a few times and the hike gets easier and easier. Views are good at the top. We then decided to hike through the night towards Tinkers Cliff. The hike wasn't too bad through the night however, there was a huge section without blazes. Luckily a good deal of that was through grasses where the trail was apparent. The hike up to Tinker was not the best. What you get with down hill hike to the base of Tinker Mountain is made up for by the intense uphill hike. When we reached the cliffs, we seemed to miss the easier path behind the cliffs and ended up on what seems like a goat trail in front of the cliff. Was a little scary. After that it was ALL downhill. A killer on the legs after hiking all night. Overall this trip, I give it four stars for the wonderful views and the experience. Don't know if I'd hike that much in 24 hours again though.

By: Jess Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 05, 2014
I did this hike with two others back in July and it was spectacular. We didnt arrive to the trailhead until around 5pm because we wanted to miss the crowds and since the sun was setting so late we figured we'd have enough time to get back down before it got too dark. It took us about 2 hours to get to the top and we were all in pretty good physical condition. Even on a hot July afternoon, I was thankful I brought a sweater because the top had a steady breeze and was chilly. We hiked the AT all the way up but then opted to take the fire road back down just incase it got too dark, and it did. The last little stretch of our hike was in complete blackness and it was the first time I had ever been caught hiking in the dark. The view from the top is amazing. While a lot of people stop and enjoy the main outlook, if you keep walking to the right you can walk around the top of the mountain and enjoy the view from a more secluded spot. To read more about my experience and see pictures from McAfee Knob visit here: http://appalachianhikinglove.blogspot.com/2014/07/mcafee-knob.html

By: RJ and TD Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, June 20, 2014
We began our hike at 8:15AM. It was already starting to get hot and muggy. Our goal was to get a workout so we decided to get there and back as quickly as possible. We made it up in 90 minutes. We took a some time to enjoy the views - eating a handful of wild blueberries, taking photos of a deer just a few feet away, talking to other hikers, and enjoying the amazing scenery. Once at the top we rested, hiked over to see the view of the Roanoke valley. You can see for miles! We jogged/walked back down, stopping several times to talk to hikers on the way up. Avoided the fire road to get the full experience. Did the return trip in 90 minutes exactly. 8.8 miles, 1700 elevation climb and descent in 3 hours. Not bad for a couple of old guys. Let's do it again!

By: Fisch Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 14, 2014
I hiked with two friends and we decided to start our trek at around 5. We made it up in about an hour and 45 minutes and the view could not have been more breath taking. It was a perfect clear day. Good thing we brought sweaters because when we got to the top it was a bit chilly with the breeze. The beginning of the hike was easy but after the fireroad it started to get a little more difficult. Since it was around 8:15 when we started down we decided to take the fireroad so it would be easy in the dark. I highly recommend this hike!

By: Rider Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 31, 2014
THERE IS NO WATER AT JOHNS SPRING OR CATAWBA right now. If you're overnighting, you'll need to go to Pig Farm to find any.

By: Stu Pickles, inventor. Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, February 23, 2014
Excellent hike. Got a late start and didn't reach the knob until just after sunset. No one else was there and it was amazingly quiet. Got some really good pictures of what was left of the sunlight and also the city lights from Roanoke. The only problem was the melting snow from the week before left many parts of the trail reduced to thick muddy sludge, especially as we approached the knob. Did the return hike in the dark and took the fire road. Great hike. Hope to camp next time.

By: Stu Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, February 01, 2014
We had a wonderful trip up to McAfee Knob. It was the first Saturday in February & the temps were up in the 40's for the first time in weeks. We couldn't have asked for better weather.

We followed the AT going up to the overlook & used the fire road on our return trip to the parking lot.

As stated in the description, this isn't a trail to take if you are looking for solitude. We got to the parking lot at 11am, there were only a handful of vehicles. When we got back to the parking lot at 3:30pm, my wife had to "help" get us backed out of our parking spot, as to not bump in to another vehicle. The parking lot was full & even cars parked along the road!

The views from the overlook are fantastic.

This was our very first hike on the AT, there will be many more to follow.

One word of caution. This website was unavailable Saturday morning. I was going to go & print out some information from the site. I'm guessing it was getting pounded by web-traffic, which is a good thing, but you may want to print out the route a couple of days before you go!

By: Michael Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, January 17, 2014
Absolutely amazing views!!! The hike is fairly easy and can get crowded at times, but it's worth the views. 5 stars!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 02, 2013
This hike was amazing, mid fall had most of the leaves already turned and a lot had fallen, but the views from the top were stunning. The sky was clear and weather was perfect, the distance was manageable, and there was very few strenuous sections, none if I was in better shape. I would recommend this hike to anybody.

By: Andy Griffith Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, October 07, 2013
I really like the Mcafee hike and I'm interested in combining it with Tinker Cliffs.  Can anyone comment on starting from rt 311 going up Mcafee, over to Tinker Cliffs and down the Andy Layne trail to rt 779?  Is this a pretty doable one day hike?  Looks like it's approx. 12 - 13 mi, correct?  Thanks.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, August 12, 2013
Although the hike was a bit buggy and the spring water source was dry, the hike provided a good workout and a beautiful view from the knob. We saw maybe a handful of people along the way ( would not be the case if it were the weekend as the parking lot was full on the previous Sunday), so solitude could be found. Bring liter of water and good hiking boots.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 06, 2013
We went with a medium sized group including 4 Webelos Scouts and a 3 Boy Scouts from our troop and pack. My 6 1/2 yr old daughter came along too. It was an amazing hike. Loved the small rock outcropping looking into the Catawba Valley before getting to the Knob and the narrow trail connecting one part of the Knob to the other part (more south) where you can see Roanoke Airport and MIll Mountain Star. Truly a wonderful, well maintained trail. Want to do it again and soon!! Might have to if my scout decides to go for the Hiking Merit Badge and we start from 311 parking lot and go through to Daleville to get the 20+ mile hike requirement.

By: Hiker Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 01, 2013
My friend and I did this hike today. The hike was not strenuous, as portrayed by some forums and online blogs. It took us around two hours to reach the peak. Really beautiful views from up top. The rock outcrop extends at-least 180 degrees. Took fire road on the way back (bad decision). It was very boring, and there were hardly any people on that route. Overall, a great hike with nice views from the top. Wish there was more wilderness though. The hike is close to Roanoke, and you can see the deforestation. It's not pretty as it could have been.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 01, 2013
Having lived in the area you would have thought we had hiked this before over the last few years We even have a small 2 br house for sale < 2 miles from there...so finally tried the hike out today beautiful views , will be sad to leave the area but glad we got to do it before we left. It was hotter than we hoped but overall not to bad

By: Buck and Nikki Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, January 13, 2013
This trail was the second day for us we summited Dragons Tooth on 01/12/13. Arriving at the trail head parking at 1200 hours the lot was about a third full. We crossed the road and used the AT t make our ascent. The initial hill was rough as our legs were tight from the previous day hiking but they soon warmed up and we were off. This trail was more strenuous for both of us maybe it was eating fifteen minutes before hitting the trail, maybe the day before hike I am not sure what but we both had a tough time. The weather was 65 degrees and warm good day for shorts on the trail but we did not pack them. Long story short we made the summit in 2.5 hours and were much more tired than we had been at the tooth summit. This took away from the beauty we should have been able to enjoy. The view was absolutely clear without cloud or haze. Not being able to stay long because we had a 4.5 hour drive we quickly descended using the fire road. I am glad we did because neither of us had the reserves to make it on the AT back to the parking lot. Arriving there we packed and made our way home. Thanks to all those who perform trail maintenance on this great hike.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, December 14, 2012

Awesome hike!  Some of the best views in Virginia.  Please watch my video review here:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xPpOFlSktfY


By: Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Drove down from Southern Maryland specifically to take this hike. My Daughter who is currently a student at VT came along. It was good bonding time. I heard the trail can get busy so going on a Tuesday morning made it a private affair. We did cross a handful of hikers but not many. There's nothing I can say about the Knob that hasn't already been said but it was awe-inspiring to walk out into that view. It took me by surprise even after seeing all the pictures. The only downside to my trip is losing my favorite sunglasses. I left them at the first shelter and by time I realized I had forgotten them we were close to the top so I just decided to get them on the trip back. Sadly though, when I got there I discovered someone had taken them. I just knew no one would bother them especially with such a light crowd so I wan't worried. Ultimately, it was my fault for leaving them behind and they were very nice glasses, to tempting for someone to pass up. Oh well, I didn't let it take away from my day-trip with my daughter which is priceless. I highly recommend McAfee Knob!!!!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 15, 2012
I hiked McAfee's knob for the 1st time today w/ three other friends. It is a TOUGH hike, as this was only my 3rd hike. It is mostly uphill, very rocky w/ steep grades. The first 2/3 of the hike was pretty good, but the last 3rd of the hike after the fire road was quite tough. As you get closer to the knob the hike gets much steeper and challenging. The weather was PERFECT for hiking as it was not too hot or too cold and the sun was in and out of the clouds so the temperature was steady. There were LOTS of people hiking today, college groups, families and couples. Once we got to the knob the views were breathtaking and we had lunch and took lots of photos. Take lots of water with you esp if you sweat alot. Normally you would think the way back would be easier, but not so. Just as challenging on the return as it is on the departure. We thoroughly enjoyed this hike and met some amazing people along the way. I would definetly recommend anyone to take this hike.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 08, 2012
My family and I have hiked this trail on several occasions and we enjoy it.  It is deceivingly more difficult than you would think, especially the last trek to the top.  The hardest part of the trail, in my opinion, is actually coming back down.  Lots and lots of leg fatigue!!  The views from the top are spectacular.  We really enjoy breaking out the camp stove and enjoying lunch on the rocks. 

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 08, 2012
My family and I have hiked this trail on several occasions and we enjoy it.  It is deceivingly more difficult than you would think, especially the last trek to the top.  The hardest part of the trail, in my opinion, is actually coming back down.  Lots and lots of leg fatigue!!  The views from the top are spectacular.  We really enjoy breaking out the camp stove and enjoying lunch on the rocks. 

By: VSOP Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, August 09, 2012
The Heathens crew took in the McAfee's Knob hike but added some mileage northbound to take in Tinker Cliffs and come of the trail at Rt 220 in Daleville for a little over 19mi.  That made better use of  our travel time from the Fredericksburg area.  Starting on a Thursday afternoon helped us with parking and to gain use of shelter space.  But there was no lack of other hikers to this popular spot.  Water at Catawba shelter was trickling at about 1 litre every 5 minutes but was sufficient.  Rain overnight added to the already high humidity.  Since our routine is to get up an move in the morning we were on top in about 30-40 minutes.  That probably worked against getting the best view given the weather as the summit was still partly in the clouds.  But we still got in some great views and pics in between.  We moved on to the next shelter (McAfees?) where we took a short break. Water wasn't flowing much better than at Catawba.  From there we pushed to Tinker Cliffs for lunch where the weather had cleared and the views were also spectacular.  After lunch we dropped down to Lambert Meadows shelter for the night.  The spring was flowing better than the ones up higher but we had to make minor improvement in the shallow streambed to allow water to be dipped without getting a lot of floaties.  Lambert is an older shelter showing its age but does have a modern moldering privy.  And there are some good tent sites a short distance up the trail from the shelter.  A cold front overnight improved the temps if not the humidity.  From Lambert we took in the last 9 miles to Daleville via the ridge overlooking Carvins Cove reservior.  Again, we got some postcard views you can only get from on top.  This format would be a good alternative to a day hike for the additional views and AT section it knocks out.

By: Mark and Susan Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, August 02, 2012
We are both over 50 and in good health, but it was still a challenge. Especially the last mile.

 We loved the view!

Next time we will go when it is a little cooler, it was rather warm today.

By: Peteandhisdogjordie Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, July 12, 2012
I hiked this hike this morning at about 930 this morning. To my shock, I was the only one there. This hike is only 3.9 miles one way, but feels long. Part of that is that you ar in the trees until you get to the top. The views are stunning. It was more than worth the drive and hike out there. Getting back is harder than going out. The last quarter of the hike is mainly uphill. I think the view was more than worth the effort. I stronly suggest you go . There are pictures there that you can get no where else...

By: Marie Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, May 31, 2012
This was overall a wonderful hike with gorgeous views, BUT: 1. My husband and I did not bring enough water. Take plenty with you. We each had 36 oz. and that was maybe a third of what I would now recommend. We both got quite dehydrated. 2. We are novice hikers, and this was a tough hike for both of us. Take that into account if you're just starting out hiking or if you are not in good hiking shape. We are both in relatively good shape, but were not prepared for the intensity of this hike.

We fully intend to do this hike again when we have built ourselves up to it maybe this fall, as I anticipate that it would be quite the view in fall colors. It is a beautiful overlook, and very much worth the effort to get there, but do keep my suggestions in mind, especially if you are like us and just getting a feel for hiking.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, May 12, 2012
We have hiked over 30 hikes that Hiking Upward has posted and this is our favorite so far. It has been a long day for us but well worth it. We hit the road at 2:30 AM leaving Maryland heading to McAfee Knob. We started the hike at 7:00 AM and finished at 12:40 PM so about 5.5 hours of hiking. Starting this early is the way to do this hike, when we reached the top it was just us and two other ladies for about 20 minutes. After seeing all of the great views, we headed down to the shelter past McAfee Knob.  After reaching the shelter we continued down to the water hole past the power lines and from there you can see McAfee Knob if you look up.  After that we headed back up and we reached the top again, only this time it was over crowed with people so we were so happy to have done this hike early so we could take a hundred pictures with just us.  Our GPS had this entire hike as 10.1 miles. I will do this hike again and again and is SO worth the early wake up!

By: first timer Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, May 08, 2012
This was my first time ever hiking and I must say it was very enjoyable and rewarding. At times the hike can become fairly difficult but before long the level of difficulty goes back down. Unfortuantly, when we reached McAfee Knob, we found ourselves in the middle of a cloud. It was a neat experience but it completely obstructed our view.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 28, 2012
Hiked it with my oldest son (11 yrs old) and loved it.  It was a very busy section of the AT which is to be expected but very beautiful.  Grabbed the cache on the way up and had lunch on the knob.  No wonder the knob is on so many calendars and pictures.  It is a amazing view.

By: Paul Taylor Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 07, 2012
This is a great hike to do by yourself of with others. It can be a little difficult at times, mainly dealing with the loose rocks on the path. But if you want a spectacular view this is a definite one to do.

By: Tim & William Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, April 04, 2012
This was the first backpacking trip for my son. This was a great trip that even the rain couldn't spoil. Luckily, when we made it to the top on Wednesday the sun broke out right as we reached the knob. We hiked on to Campbell shelter. A great night in the shelter and back out in the morning. Wonderful hike.

By: Kim and Ronnie Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 31, 2012
This was my first hike up to McAfee Knob and my longest hike. I'm starting to do these hikes with my husband. This has been by far my favorite of the ones I have done. The views at the top are amazing and breath taking!!!!  The only complaint that I have is people throwing their trash down. They need to have respect for land they are walking on. I will definitely do this with my husband again and we may even do an overnighter!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, February 07, 2012
Well marked trails. Fun, yet moderately difficult hike up. Lots of fun foot bridges and rocks. Great views along the way. Cool camping areas...someone had a book and pen in one that we got to sign. There were outhouses at each (enter if you dare). View was nothing short of phenomenal!!! Once you get up top, don't short yourself. Walk around a bit (safely). Aside from the popular views and rocks you see many pictures of online, there's a view of Roanoke you can make out the runway and downtown buildings. We took the fire road down only b/c we were running out of daylight. It's not shorter, but is a time saver! We made it down right at sundown!

By: Michael Labrecque Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, October 28, 2011
It was raining when we left the parking lot. After passing under the power lines, it was evident there was heavy snowfall. Reached the summit and visibility was less than 100ft. Rocks were slick. Coming back down the trail was less visible and nearly a half inch of snow fell by the time we got to the fire road, which we took back. Lots of fun! I threw the first snowball of the season!!! very cool.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, June 21, 2011
I did McAfee Knob as my second and final hike of my trip. I did Dragon's Tooth the day before and was so impressed that I couldn't wait to get up to the peak of McAfee.

The trail is much easier than that of Dragon's Tooth. It was in the mid 90's though so I don't think I sweated any less. The view from the top had me in "aw" for 45 min. when I decided I couldn't stay up there forever. I was lucky also in that I passed lots of people up and down but I had a good 1/2 hour at the top by myself just to relax.

I can't decide if I like McAfee Knob more than Dragon's Tooth or vise verse: The views from McAfee are much better (not to take anything form DT). Dragon's tooth hike up is much more fun and interesting though. So I recommend that you do both of them. I also took the old fire road down from McAfee. It was a nice easy walk kinda made me feel like I was cheating. I did see a deer and an owl though so I guess it was worth it.

By: Gabriel Saucedo Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, June 06, 2011
Again HikingUpward provided great hike details. If choosing between this hike or Dragon's Tooth, McAfee Knob though longer, is the easier hike overall. Great views, saw a lot of different wildlife just off the trails. Took the forest road on the way back down to save time, not as interesting but a time saver and there are some interest rocks to climb none the less.

By: Katie D. Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, May 30, 2011
This was a great hike.  I will admit I am over weight and this was my first long hike in a few years. However, I made it to the top!! The view was very well worth the workout!!! The heat and humidity on the way back down was a killer. We started in the morning up and came down around lunch time. The trails are clearly marked and there was a nice spring to take a break near. There were lots of hikers both young and old on this trail. Besides wishing I did this about 20lbs lighter and in cooler weather I will happily recommend this hike!!!!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 24, 2011
After reviewing the hike on this website I decided to just do it, being a beginner hiker with just a few small hikes under my belt I was intimidated by the 8.8 miles ahead of me and the 1700' elevation increase. Well I thought it was only 8 miles so the other .8 was found out later, no wonder I was tired at the end and my dog would not talk to me anymore LOL. The hike was everything described and more. The view was definitely worth the climb. I only wish I could have shared it with someone but my dog was there so it was cool. Also out of the need for more water I drank from the spring with no treatment figuring if I got sick it would be later after I was home, but it was very good water and in just the right place and time. I also want to warn everyone about the possibility of NATS at the top. It was a warm day and the nats were overwhelming to the point that I had no desire to stay up there and take good pictures, I just snapped the pics quickly without any creative settings. So be aware of the NATS!! The trail itself was well managed, but not without a few trip hazards, just be careful. Wear good hiking boots/shoes or something comfortable cause you will feel it. You will see different areas of woods/meadows, flowers, trees, birds and so on. A very nice hike!
http://s449.photobucket.com/albums/qq213/rclccc/Mcafee%20Knob/

By: Hokie Hiker Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, January 16, 2011
This was a great winter hike! There was still a little bit of snow on the ground for the last mile and a half which made things look great. The most challenging part is probably the first mile to mile and a half due to all the stairs- but it is by no means challenging.

By: Amit Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 18, 2010
This hike is a long walk in the park and thus I would rate the difficulty level at 2 star.
The trail is well maintained and has a spring water supply half way through the hike.
If you live around this area and have about 3.5 hrs then its worth the walk.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, July 17, 2010

Trail was a little washed out in places. However, when we reached the knob......WOW! The rock formations along the trail were great, huge formations with awesome samples of wind and water erosion.

You have to make this climb! My wife and two sons (9 and 10) loved it!


By: IrishGrl Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, June 03, 2010
I took my parents up for a nice hike. about 1/2 a mile into the hike where you hit the first wooden bridge a tree has fallen and taken out the bridge along with access to the rest of the trail. So unless you bring rope with you, we only where able to do the first little bit which was disappointing. I hope someone gets out there soon to fix up the trail. I would love to hike it again! HU NOTE: We are not sure when the bridge will be repaired but you could always do this hike in reverse as described in the trail write up taking the leisurely fire road up with your parents to avoid the damaged bridge.

By: RONNIE Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, May 30, 2010
Great hike, this was my first time to McAfee. The trail is very well maintained and easy to follow. Did not see any wildlife but the view from the top made up for it. Not a lot of traffic on the trail I expected more guess everyone is out of town for the holiday. I will have to bring my wife up here sometimeI think she would love the view in spite of the climb to the top

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 04, 2010
I wanted to do something special Easter morning, so I took the hike to McAfee Knob. I was NOT disappointed. I left the Rt 311 parking lot at 5:30am, wanting to catch a glorious Easter Sunday morning sunrise, but I miscalculated my hike time and missed it.   BUT.....I now know how long it takes and I will return for the sunrise..soon.!!!  Secret to this hike in avoiding the crowd.......get there EARLY..!!!!!   I fell in love with this place.!!!!! 

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, March 20, 2010
This was my first hike to McAfees knob, the view at the top was great and worth the long hike up.  The only draw back i thought was there were lots of college students and other hikers on the trail so you have to deal with traffic going up and comming down.  this is a hike i will definitely do again.

By: IanMTB Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, September 06, 2009
My wife and I drove down from Richmond to hike both this and Dragon's Tooth.  We got up at 5 am and left our hotel to get to this hike early to avoid the crowds and high temperatures. 

Other than coming across a turkey, some deer and some turles, the hike to the summit was pleasant but unremarkable.  We arrived at McAfee's Knob to find a group that had set up camp right on the rock outcropping, in the exact spot that everyone wants to take pictures of.  We drove 4 hours and paid for a hotel to get a picture of some chump's tent. 

Apart from the selfish people monopolizing the knob and the thick haze that obscured the view, the hike was good.  It's a well-maintained trail that is not difficult, but is not totally without challenge.  Though, walking over the several footbridges and up and down manufactured steps did not instill a feeling of rustic solitude.

The view was impressive, even in the haze.  I look forward to hiking this again when the air is clear, and when people actually adhere to the no camping rules.

By: Jeff Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 25, 2009

I hiked McAfee Knob with two friends, we found the trail to be very well maintained and easy to follow. About half way to the water pipe we found a small stream crossing the path. It was just big enough to wet our bandanas and cool off because we were hiking in the heat of the day. By the time we made it to the knob we were low on water and after taking in the awesome view, we hiked down the other side off the mountain to the other shelter to fill up with water. We had all three agreed to watch the sunset  and sunrise on the knob, so we hiked back up and stealth camped in the bush on top. If anyone hikes this they are cheating themselves if they do not do the sunrise/sunset. The next morning, after the hike, we drove to an all you can eat restaurant three miles from the parking lot called The Home Place. Alot of through hikers stop here for an incredible  "all you can eat" home-cooked meal.


By: Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, March 11, 2009

With two unruly canine companions, it was a grueling trip...being the first hike this year and my first time on the AT.  The route was easy to follow, and there was not a lot of traffic though we did meet up with a couple other travelers.  VA311 is treacherous -- especially exiting the trail -- so be especially alert crossing it.   The summit is awesome and made the trek worthwhile and then some!  On this warm day, it took us over 5 hours of hiking round trip on the 8.3 mile loop with lots of water breaks for the dogs.

This is a hike that has to be done more than once!


By: B.A. Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, February 07, 2009
With temps in the low to mid 60's today, there were dozens of people on the trail.  When we started off from the Rt. 311 parking lot at noon we took one of the last parking spaces available.  For many parts of our hike, other hikers were visible either hiking ahead of us or on their return.  Because of a recent light snow and a lot of foot traffic, portions of the trail were extremely muddy.  Upon reaching the knob, there were many people taking in the scenic views which don't disappoint.  On the knob there were many frozen puddles, so we had to be especially careful walking on it's many famous jutting rocks.  The return hike down was a little slow going because of some slippery rocks and again the mud.  For us it was 2 hours up and about 1:45 back.  In summary - a great workout with rewarding views at the knob, but not much for solitude.   

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 18, 2008
This hike was amazing!!  It seemed like it was going to be really easy at first, however the length of it really wears on the leg muscles. The hike was very long, but the payoff of the view was well worth it. I felt like I was on top of the world and could see the whole thing from the top. Take the fire road down it's much easier and faster if you are tired like we were. :)

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