McAfee Knob

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McAfee Knob is the most photographed site along the Appalachian Trail which crosses 14 states along its 2,178 mile trail from Georgia to Maine. In Virginia, McAfee Knob is the Appalachian Trail's poster and postcard image. McAfee Knob is the jutting end of a crazily tilted rocky mountain, sticking out into thin air like a diving platform. The view from the Knob sweeps around 270 degrees (everything except through the forest behind), surveying the Catawba Valley and North Mountain to the west, Tinker Cliffs to the north, and the Roanoke Valley to the east. Length: approximately 8 miles round trip (out and back). Difficulty: Moderately difficult - gradual uphill on the way out and the return is downhill NOTE: The parking lot at the McAfee Knob Trailhead on Route 311 is temporarily closed from November 2023 through late 2024 for the construction of a new pedestrian bridge. There will be no parking at the trailhead lot during construction. Nearby parking alternatives include the Catawba Sustainability Center and Catawba Community Center, and visitors can also utilize the McAfee Shuttle, which operates seasonally from March through November (Friday - Sunday) and provides service to the McAfee Knob Trailhead from the Interstate 81 Exit 140 Park & Ride Lot.

  • Map View:
  • Directions: •From Roanoke - take I-81 south to exit 141. •Turn left at the traffic light onto route 419 (Electric Rd.) and follow 0.4 miles to next traffic light (Rt. 311) •Turn right onto route 311N and follow 5.6 miles to the top of the mountain •The trailhead parking lot is at the very top on the left.
  • Major Access Routes: I-81, Rt. 311
  • Additional Information: Most photographed spot on the Appalachian Trail.
  • Difficulty Level: Moderate
  • Distance in Miles - Round Trip: 8
  • Friday Hours: Open
  • Monday Hours: Open
  • Saturday Hours: Open
  • Sunday Hours: Open
  • Thursday Hours: Open
  • Tuesday Hours: Open
  • Wednesday Hours: Open