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McAfee Knob Parking Lot Temporary Closure - Effective November 30, 2023

Parking at McAfee Knob Trailhead on Route 311 in Roanoke County to Close During Bridge Construction

Effective November 30, 2023, the parking lot at the McAfee Knob Trailhead on Route 311 will temporarily close as construction begins for a new pedestrian bridge. The bridge will help carry the Appalachian Trail over Route 311 and ensure a safer experience for hikers and visitors, leading trail users over Route 311 and away from vehicular traffic.

The parking lot will close on November 30, 2023, and is expected to re-open once bridge construction is completed in late 2024. There will be no parking at the trailhead lot during bridge construction.

Hikers will still have access to the Appalachian Trail at this location but need to stay in designated areas outside the active construction area.

McAfee Knob Parking Alternatives - Catawba Sustainability Center | Catawba Community Center

CATAWBA SUSTAINABILITY CENTER (CSC) – 5061 Catawba Creek Road (VA 779) is a two-minute drive from the McAfee Knob parking on VA 311. No overnight parking.

Directions

  • Drive 1.1 west (left out of McAfee parking) to the bottom of the hill.
  • Turn right on VA 779/VA-698 N and then immediate sharp right on VA 779. You will pass the post office and the Catawba Community Center. You will see two large old silos ahead on the right – that is the CSC.
  • Just after a mailbox, turn right into CSC at 0.4 mi. after leaving VA 311.  There are marked parking spaces for 25 cars, including 2 handicapped spaces.  There is a wheelchair-accessible port-a-pot. The trail begins at the gate across the road. Follow the orange blazes!
  • Round trip to McAfee Knob: a little over 10 miles

CATAWBA COMMUNITY CENTER – 4965 Catawba Creek Road (VA 779). Same directions as above – you actually see it first. No overnight parking.

  • Round trip to McAfee Knob: about 10.5 miles
  • There may be a Farmer’s Market or other community activity going on.

Visit the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club website for additional information and suggestions on places to park along the Appalachian Trail in the Roanoke Region, including for the popular Virginia Triple Crown hikes.

McAfee Knob Alternate Parking Options 

McAfee Knob Shuttle - Resumes Spring 2024

Starting in Spring 2024, the McAfee Shuttle will resume service after being suspended for the winter months. The shuttle operates on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and runs from the Park & Ride Lot at Interstate 81 Exit 140 to the McAfee Knob Trailhead.

Reservations are encouraged, but walk-up service is also available. Visit the McAfee Shuttle website to check the schedule and make reservations.

McAfee Knob Pedestrian Bridge

The development and construction of the pedestrian bridge at the McAfee Knob Trailhead is a project by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) in partnership with the National Park Service, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club, Roanoke County, and the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission.

The new concrete and steel bridge will be approximately 90 feet long, eight feet wide, and span 17.5 feet above the Route 311 roadway. The bridge's appearance will blend in with the Appalachian Trail's natural setting with gray architectural treatments to simulate rock. A sidewalk ramp will also be constructed to allow handicapped access from the parking area onto the bridge.

VDOT: Appalachian Trail Pedestrian Bridge >

McAfee Knob - Alternative Hikes

While McAfee Knob is the most popular and visited hiking trail in Virginia's Blue Ridge, there are lots of other fantastic hiking trails and options in the region. Here are a few of our favorites, including some lesser-known gems:

Please familiarize yourself with the 7 Principles of Leave No Trace and do your part to recreate responsibly when hiking in Virginia's Blue Ridge. Stay on the designated trail, pack out any trash you see, and be respectful of others you encounter on the trail, including local wildlife.

Roanoke Valley Spotlight

The shuttle operates March through November (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) and provides service to the McAfee Knob Trailhead from the Interstate 81 Exit 140 Park & Ride Lot.


Volunteer group that helps maintain and protect over 120 miles of the Appalachian Trail in the region.


These guidelines are a great way to protect nature when you spend time on the trails and outside.