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Hiker Reviews for the Tinker Cliffs/Andy Layne Trail Hike - 1 to 34 of 34   
Review the Tinker Cliffs/Andy Layne Trail hike here!   Average Review Rating:

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, July 8, 2018
Don't rely on the published directions to find the parking lot. On Hwy 779, drive past the notated parking lot about 1/2 mile. After crossing a narrow bridge, the parking lot will be up the hill on the right. It is small, but well marked.

By: VACBayliss Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, June 9, 2018
#1 Use the coordinates provided on the site. If you don't and you just type 'Tinker Cliffs' into your iPhone map, you'll end up about 6 miles away from the actual parking lot.

Finally finished the VA triple crown. Saved this one for last. Definitely the hardest of the three. Great views at top. Saw wildlife, snakes, deer et. more. At the start of trail followed one of the local cows for a while which was humorous to the party. Trekking poles recommended and a lot of water!

By: MRS Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, March 4, 2018
I love this hike. The first time I hiked Tinker was Nov. 1, 2015, And it was the final hike in the triple crown. The fall colors were amazing. It was peaceful and we saw 6 other people. This time it is the second hike in triple crown, we did Dragonís Tooth a few weeks ago and will be doing McAfee next, we started out with 6 cars in the lot, came down 4 hours later to a totally full lot! I was amazed how many people were going up as we came down! This hike is great, it has ups and downs and flats, cow field, bridges over streams, stairs, steeps, and it is varied, you go up a little down a little, along, up gradually, up sharply, then more gradually etc. the top has amazing views and we saw 3 hawks. The wind had a bite so we did not linger too long at the top, we took 4 hours total and are slow and steady hikers.

By: ACF Rating: Date of Hike: Tuesday, November 28, 2017
My favorite overall hike in the area. Great workout and never crowded. Beautiful day today. It was alarming that I heard a couple of rifle shots at the beginning of my hike. Came across a hunter a few yards off the trail around mile 2 of Andy Layne (where you cut right and the trail widens for a spell). I plan to wait until hunting season ends before doing this hike again.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, June 2, 2017
Last of my trails for the Triple Crown. One Tough Hike for a ole man of 70. But I loved it ! I wished I had done this one first because I rate it as the most difficult of the three hikes. It is well maintained by the Trail Club that cares for it. I would say the views in Fall will be Fantastic for pictures. I took my camera and do a lot of photography but I'm One & done for these three hikes. If anyone is planning the Triple Crown, do this one first, Dragon Tooth second. Save the McAfee Knob for last . Because it will be your cake walk. I hike all the time, so I will be back out tomorrow !

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, April 8, 2017
I thoroughly enjoyed this hike and the different scenery it provided.† Both bridges were neat, and it was unexpected to find yourself in a cow field.† Some of the uphill can be a little brutal and I had to stop to catch my breath a couple times.† The views at the top were great.† Overall it was a somewhat warm day, but the wind at the top made it quite cold up there.† I recommend eating at the Homeplace after this hike.† It's not too far away, and after all that uphill a big family style meal of fried chicken and all the sides is about the best thing ever.

By: Isaac R. Both Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, November 13, 2016
First let me say this hike is not for the faint at hear. It took me 4 hours up and back. Depending on your pace and how often your stop for breaks and etc it could take longer. So pace yourself. When I started it was a cool morning but on the way down it had warmed up a lot. I would recommend taking a jacket and a stocking cap if your going in the colder months. A jacket any time would be a good idea. The trial is pretty easy to follow I was only slightly confused like twice. You will go what seems like a long time before seeing a yellow marker. Just stick to the trial. Pace yourself. You will climb on this Hike. I would most centrally recommend taking a pole, stick, something to help with the climb. Pace yourself. The bridges earlier on in the hike are pretty nice. I would recommend if you have a group to go over them one at a time as they are not that stable. The second bridge on the way up has a few loose board so take your time. Definitively pack well. Snack, sunscreen, sunglasses, hates, bug spray, WATER. Make sure you pace your self and take water breaks. The view is awesome once up top dentally something your could spend time looking at and having lunch. The biggest thing to remember is to pace your self this hike is a clim and almost 8 miles round trip so give your self plenty of time and takes breaks as need.

By: Shawn R. Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 2, 2016
This was a difficult hike, but the views at the top were outstanding. The solitude was a huge bonus, especially when compared to other hikes in the area. There were no issues with directions on the trail since the blazings were clear and often. We finished the hike in just under four hours but we spent over an hour at the top. I highly recommend this hike to people in the area because of the great solitude and great views, but make sure you are ready for a steep climb! There are plenty of places to camp at or near the summit so a sunset or sunrise hike would be a possibility!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 19, 2016
Warning to those taking this hike right now, there's a 1-2-year-old black bear along the Andy Layne that apparently has been spotted a few times. As we were coming down one of the steepest parts, it was at the bottom grazing on the trail. Not scared of humans but not aggressive, either. We got by it but it was a closer encounter than I really care to have.

However, the hike and the reward at the end were well worth the bear encounter and the sore 61-year-old knees this morning.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, April 17, 2016
This is my favorite local hike. More challenging, like the second part of Dragon's tooth, but long and with an amazing payoff like Mcafee.

The first two miles will get your heart going. You'll find two stretches of steep terrain back to back. Then lots of switchbacks for a while. The final push to the top is kind of steep, too.

I started out at 9am and there were some folks in the parking lot, but I had the top to myself for a good 20 minutes. The view is just stunning.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, November 4, 2015
This was my first time hiking. My friend told me about this hike, it was one he did half way but never finished. We got to the trail head at about 10:30 that morning. There was only one car parked in the lot. We started hiking at about 10:45ish. The trail was very well maintained and the yellow blaze was easy to spot the whole way until we got to the AP trail blaze once there the white AP ablaze was also easy to spot and follow. The only "problem" we ran into was about 15 to 20 cows at the first water bridge. Once we got close enough to them the began to get up and move out of the way. We finally made it to the top at about 12:30. There was no one around nor did we see anybody on the way up. We hung out there for an hour took in the beautiful views. We started our treck down at about 1:30. It was as tough going up as it was down. We only ran into one person going down. We made it back to the parking lot at exactly 3:30. I would definitely recommend this hike especially in the fall. It is a very difficult hike but well worth it! A+

By: Ashley Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 8, 2015
I did this one a week after doing Mcafee and Dragon's tooth. I was expecting it to be difficult, I wasn't going to kid myself like I tried to do with Mcafee, but sometimes you aren't as prepared as you think! This one definitely goes in my book as being the toughest of the three. However, the solitude, both on the trail and at the top made it worth it. It was just me and my friend at the top for about 30minutes. We started hiking at about 9:30 and passed 5-6 people on the way up and maybe 10-15 on the way back down. Much less traveled than Mcafee, but with a view I would say is pretty comparable. This gets only a 4/5 because I would still choose dragon's tooth in a heartbeat... and I feel like I need to get stronger to be allowed to say this is a favorite. I stopped numerous times on this one, like the page says, it's rough!

By: G.Zanatakos Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Overall decent hike, steep areas. I would suggest going later in the year when its more dry. The trail was very muddy. Its comparable to Dragons' Tooth. If you're looking for good view and a challenging hike, this one is for you. Not recommended for children.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, January 18, 2015
Lovely hike, however quite sloppy this time of year! I would recommend going early in the morning while the mud is frozen. We started out at about 10am and the mud was frozen and the trail was nice and neat. On the way back around 1pm, the trail had defrosted into a slippery slop! Each hiking boot felt like it weighed 5 lbs because of the mud stuck to it! It hasn't really even been rainy lately. Just beware of the mud. You'll want to bring your hiking poles! Still has amazing views and one of the very best hikes in the Roanoke area. I love it also because it's not nearly as busy as McAfee's Knob, and provides a widespread rural view of our beloved Blue Ridge Mountains.

By: Kyle Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, November 28, 2014
Hiked today with our three dogs. Great alternative to McAfee's and Dragon's Tooth - great views without the crowds

By: Freckles Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, September 18, 2014
Hiked today with my best friend and daughter. Pretty strenuous hike, but well worth the effort. Amazing views from the top. Just be careful of the sliding acorns!

By: Tanner Rating: Date of Hike: Wednesday, August 20, 2014
This was by far one of my favorite hikes in the New River Valley to date. The hike up to the cliffs is pretty moderate, with switchbacks cutting back and forth as you go up the mountain. There are a few steep parts, but there are logs embedded in the ground and its not vertical, so, you should be fine. When you reach the top, you won't be disappointed as you get an absolutely stunning 180 degree (if not more) view of the New River Valley. Highly suggest you put a stick in front of you as you walk, or wear long pants, as I walked into about 100 spider webs. I was the only one on the trail the entire time I was on it (to and from) so the solitude is nice especially on a weekday.

Trail is clearly marked as you go up. Andy Layne trail is marked for three miles through private property with yellow blazes. Eventually you reach a couples signs that direct you onto the Appalachian trail, where you make the rest of the hike to the Cliffs.

By: HOkie Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, February 21, 2014
The bridges are back! There was a lot of standing/running water from all of the recent snow melting with the weather being in the 60s recently but we were prepared with proper boots. This hike was quite challenging, I would reccomend a walking stick for sure because there are many areas with steep hikes--but the view makes it totally worth it! There was a lot of snow on the ground at the top, but luckily somebody had hiked it earlier & we followed their footprints. Fantastic hike. We should have planned more time, it took us about 4 hours roundtrip with a stop at the top for late lunch!

By: Tony and Gretchan Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, November 30, 2013
Very challenging hike, but beautiful! We heard of the STEEP mountains, and saw that to be true. We borrowed hiking poles, and were very glad for that, also thankful we didn't take our hiking dog. We were ready for the bridge to still be out, but were told about .2 miles upstream was a concrete bridge, that helped a lot! Our brave son, and our exchange student, however, did use a log to cross the stream! The view on top was very worth it, just had to be very careful not to get too close to the edge. We would definitely do this one again, with trekking poles always!

By: Jen Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 13, 2013
Bridge is still out but you can avoid getting wet. Awesome hike!

By: Andy Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, October 13, 2013
Thanks Jen, I know.† Hiked it in the mist and mud, slipped on the make shift bridge and got one wet boot, but no harm done.† Unfortunately the top was entirely clouded in, but I intend to combine this with McAfee in the next month or two on a clear day.† Of the triple crown, Dragon's Tooth, McAfee and Tinker, I found this by far the most strenuous.† Great hike I intend to do again.

By: Andy Rating: Date of Hike: Monday, October 7, 2013
I have not hiked this trail before, but am interested in doing it maybe this weekend.† Does anyone know if all the bridges are back in service?† Appreciate the feedback.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, August 25, 2013
Great hike!! Thanks to Hiking Upward for great map and directions. Bridge is still out over Catawba Creek but creek can be crossed with dry feet just downstream. Black-eyed Susans everywhere! Saw a copperhead on the trail watch your step!

By: Matt Kunkel Rating: Date of Hike: Thursday, August 22, 2013
I'm a noob hiker and if you are also have no doubt that this trail will challenge you! But the views are really worth it. I went on a Thursday at mid-morning and there weren't many other hikers, I think I met 5 others. The worst thing on this hike was the spider webs across the trail everywhere but that's just nature.

By: HikerAdam Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, June 28, 2013
Did this section of the AT after starting at Route 311 the previous day. Not many views at the beginning, but lots of rock outcroppings along the way. It gets steep really, really fast for a really long time at some points though, so be prepared for a tough hike. Campsite is a ways north of the cliffs, but it has nice camping that you have to cross a creek to get to. Defiantly want to do this one again!

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, November 2, 2012
Video.† Six of us from Obsessive Compulsive Backpackers (Meetup) hiked this as a 3 day - 2 night trip 2-4 Nov 2012. We drove up Friday night and parked at the Andy Layne parking lot/trail head, hiked to the first stream crossing and camped in the cow pasture.† Night temps mid 30's, sunshine, no clouds.† Hiked up to Tinker cliffs, trail in great shape, about 1 hr 45 min, walking very slow.† If you walk slowly enough to keep your breath the few steep sections are not so bad and pass rather quickly.† Once you reach the AT junction, you're still not there yet, another 20 min or so.† The cliffs have spectacular views.† We followed the AT to McAfee Knob, 3-4 hrs, strolling taking pictures.† Trail in great shape.† Leaves had just fallen and were over 12" deep for many long stretches.† Camped about 100yds past the shelter at McAfee.† If you go 200yds there is a better site with metal fire ring and a picnic table!! Water is obtained from a cistern which is grated to keep the leaves out, water looks gray from the reflection, but is ok. Rained Saturday night, tents wet in morning, lows mid 30's, dense fog in the morning.† Less than 30 min to the knob, more fog, took pix, headed down.† Trail in extremely good condition.† There are 2 more shelters before you reach the highway. About 3-3.5 hrs.† Had our 'after hike' feast at the Homeplace Restaurant, highly recommend it.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, October 13, 2012
This was a great hike on a clear fall day.† We could see for miles.† I did lose my favorite water bottle however. † It is a Camelback with the REI logo.† I got it at the REI Columbia, Maryland grand opening November 2010.† Lots of good memories connected with this bottle.† If anyone finds it I would really appreciate it if you would contact me at markdrussell@gmail.com and I will cover any shipping costs required so it can find its way home to me.

By: sbct172 Rating: Date of Hike: Sunday, June 24, 2012
Peace and quiet. Only seen a few people. Had tinker cliffs all to ourselves. The climb to the cliffs is not easy but well worth the effort. Be prepared for a climb if your not a regular hiker.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, April 20, 2012
One of my new favorite hikes around roanoke . It is brutal for a novice(only been 1 year of hiking for me)but the wild life and flora make up for it. http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-adventures-of-angela-and-corey/210717998961198 me and my wife take pictures and would love to share and see others :-)

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Friday, March 16, 2012
Wow, what a great hike. Quite possibly my new favorite spot.Ijust overnighted this one Friday night. I started out of the parking lot at 5:45pm.From the get go it&rsquos a great hike. Almost immediately after you start the hike, you come to the first of a few &ldquofence crossers.&rdquoThese are just &ldquoA-like&rdquo frames built over fences to help you cross them. This first one can actually be bypassed as the fence next to it has been cut and pulled back. But do not get used to this as the rest of them must be used. After this first fence crosser there is a leisurely hike through the woods with a bit of a down grade to bring you to the level of the creek.You will follow the creek through the woods for a few minutes before coming to second fence crosser. Immediately past this crosser is the first of two bridges. Great views up and down the stream. Once over the bridge you will wind through the flat fields for a bit before coming to the next fence crosser. After going across this one you continue to follow the creek.There will be some campsites on your right, tucked up in the evergreen groves. Following the creek for just a bit longer you will come to the latter, longer and last bridge. Once this is crossed you will start to pull away from the creek with a gentle uphill climb.The final fence crosser will be reached on this slow slope.Once across this you are back to standard hiking: little up, little down, little twist, little turn.You&rsquoll hit 2 switchbacks before you come to the &ldquoNo Trespassing&rdquo sign/gate in the old fire road.You&rsquoll follow the fire road for a bit as it starts to dwindle to just a forest trail with one switchback. Then you&rsquoll take a sharp right turn and start hiking in a grassy clearing. This is the calm before the storm. You&rsquoll pass a metal gate post on your left, marked with the yellow trail markers and a black &ldquoB5.&rdquo At this point you will start the uphill. You&rsquoll also notice that the grade has turned from grassy to slaterock.Toward the top of this section you will head back into wooded trail. Then you hit the first hard uphill. It is at the top of this section that I hit the 30 minute mark on my hike. It&rsquoll level out for a bit then have a quick downhill. But what goes down must come up. The next section will be a challenge for most (I&rsquove hiked it when it&rsquos wet).At the top of this quick but steep uphill section will be about the halfway point on the hike. It will level out for just a while then shoot back up.You&rsquoll continue to climb for a while as this one is more of a gradual climb. It&rsquoll level out just before you start a series of 11 switchbacks before reaching the top.It&rsquos in this section that I met the only other hiker (possibly an AT-er from the look of him) I saw this day.Most of the switchbacks are fairly quick.The longest stretch is between #7 and #8.About 4/5 of the way between these you&rsquoll have the AT meet up with you. You&rsquoll notice the grade goes up again you finish the last few switchbacks fairly quickly before reaching the top. Between switchbacks #9 and #10 I saw a deer up on the left next to the rock face. After rounding switchback #11, you&rsquore on top.I hiked just a bit further and stopped at the campsite nearest the trail.I turned to walk out on the cliff face to look at the valley, when I turned around to my campsite there was a doe standing by the fire ring. I walked up within 15 feet of her before she walked away.I got to the camp site right at 7pm, right before sunset.With a ~30lb pack, I was pleased to be able to finish the hike in 75 minutes.I did the whole hike with only stopping once (to relieve myself).I quickly set up my ENO and started a fire.Then I sat and watched the sun set on the neighboring ridgeline.What a fantastic view. So glad I did this trip. I made supper and looked out over the valley while drinking hot chocolate. At some point a coyote in the valley started howling.Soon a whole pack started.This having been only my second solo run, it was a little unsettling. I finished supper and hot chocolate, hung my backpack, and crawled in my ENO at 9pm. Fell right to sleep. Woke up a few times but mostly slept right through till 5:30am. I got up, started the fire again, and got my coffee ready to percolate. Sun came up about 6:30am. I started making bacon and eggs, then cleaned up, packed up, and was on the trail on the way down by 9am.Stopping twice on the way down to relieve myself (stupid 5 cups of coffee), on the descent I only shaved 12 minutes off my time.Got to the parking lot right after 10pm.Great night for camping. The whole week they had been calling for rain that night, but I didn&rsquot get a drop the whole time. I could see lightening on the horizon, but I stayed dry. I will definitely be back sometime.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 10, 2011
What a great trail, maintained by the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club.† We only saw a few people and the view was extraordinary.† I found the trail to not be too challenging, but definitely took a breather after the really steep section.† The trail felt like we were hiking in the backcountry and the geology of the river bed and the boulders at the top was intriguing.† We even saw two salamanders, one with a neon blue tail!† This is definitely one of the greatest trails in the area with an amazing view of the Catawba valley.

By: Jon E Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, September 10, 2011
Hiked to Tinker Cliffs starting early am, just at daybreak. Lots of deer in initial flat section, near the river. Yes, there are sections that are quite steep and your quads will burn, but that's probably 10-20% of teh trail--this is not a "grueling" hike.

The views from the cliffs are quite nice. Do make sure to hike the slightest extra bit around the bend to get the south facing views toward McAfee Knob and the Catawba Ridge (otherwise you see the Roanoke Cement Company). McAfee Knob tempted me, and I went for it. Going to the knob and back adds 10 extra miles, most of which are pretty easy and flat, somewhat scenic, but not spectacular. Saw some wild turkeys, several turtles, more deer, very few people traversing the ridge.

Overall, a nice hike, but I wouldn't rave about it. One last thing: the trail head is a bit tricky to find at first (perhaps because it was still dark outside, and this was my first time on Andy Layne). Do look for the green electrical boxes--they are tucked toward the back of the parking lot.

By: James Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 27, 2011
Amazing hike and my new favorite. As far as the triple crown of the catawba valley goes this is my favorite. Its a challenging hike coming in second only to Dragon's Tooth but it has the best view of the three, even beating out McAfee's Knob. The scenery on the hike is fantastic including deep valleys and carved rock strata. Even though I went during Hurricane Irene and it was slightly overcast the views still left me dumbfounded. Trail is well marked and pretty easy to follow, including hiking over barbed wire. Heads up on the parking lot its a small lot so don't miss it. I did. Overall go for it , you'll be glad you did and you'll do it again.

By: Rating: Date of Hike: Saturday, August 20, 2011
Hiked this trail on 8/20 and added an extra 1.2 miles at the AT trail going to the shelter (not worth it) unless you want the calorie burn. This site says 3.5 hrs but with the addition of 1.2 it took us 6 hrs with a 30 min lunch. Over all this was a great hike. We ran into about 10 other hikers. The trail is well maintained and properly mapped out on the site. For parking, pass the concrete company on the left keep heading down road you will see two big electrical boxes that are on the left in the parking lot that leads you to the start of trail. The map on this site is dead on about the directions, and do make sure you keep going the extra .05 miles after first overlook. So worth it for the view.

Records 1 to 34 of 34
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