Echols Dorm: Brick Wall By Side Door
Let’s head south and check out McAfee Knob located near Roanoke, VA. The hike is an out and back hike and is approximately 8.3 miles. It is considered a moderate hike. It supposed to be one of the most photographed spots on the Appalachian Trail! The Knob has almost 270 degree panorama of Catawba Valley, North Mountain to the west, Tinker Cliffs to the North, and the Roanoke Valley to the East. On a clear day, you can also see great views of the Peaks of Otter (Sharp Top and Flat Top) along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
It is a steady climb of around 1700’ in about 4.4 miles to the Knob from the VA311 parking area so we will get a good workout. From the right side of the AT parking area, cross over VA311 and pick the white blazed AT north. In about .3 miles there will be an info kiosk on the left. We will continue on the AT crossing four wooden walkways prior to reaching the Johns Spring Shelter on the right in .8 miles. There will be another 5 wooden walkways before reaching the Catawba Mountain Shelter in 1.4 miles. Staying on the AT for another .1 miles, arrive at two campsites, the AT bears to the left just before the camp sites. Remain on the AT, crossing an old fire road and go thru a high voltage power line clearing. In .3 miles pass the clearing, there will be a first good overlook. Go .5 miles further up the trail to the McAfee Knob protruding out well beyond the rest of the cliffs. For the return trip, we will retrace our steps and head south using the un-blazed old fire road until we reach VA311.
This hike is open to those experienced or inexperienced or even those who recently joined the club.
Carpooling: If you are interested in carpooling or being a driver for carpooling, please let me know. Drivers will be taken off the wait list first. We will leave at 7:30 AM at Echols Dorm. The drive is about 2 hours each way so I would like to get an early start since it is a popular hike.
Take 64 W. Keep left at the fork, follow signs for Interstate 64/Interstate 81S/Lexington/Roanoke and merge onto 81 S. Take I-81 to exit 141. Take exit 141 for VA-419 toward VA 311 N/Salem/New Castle. Turn left onto VA 419N/N Electric Road. Turn right onto VA 311 N. The parking lot is located about 5.5 miles down 311.
What to Bring: Please be sure to bring lots of water, comfortable sturdy shoes, sunscreen, a camera and a lunch/snack for when we reach the summits! Since we are now into the Fall season, I would also recommend dressing in layers or bringing a fleece or light jacket.
Please keep in mind that you are responsible for you own safety and the activities you choose to participate in while on the hike.
In the event of in climate weather, this hike may be canceled and/or rescheduled.
Below are the links to the actual hikes for further information.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.
See you on Saturday!