Hiking McAfee Knob
One day I took it upon myself to check out the Appalachian Trail’s interactive map (find it here), and one of the features that you can choose to highlight is called “primary vistas.” This feature allows you to see the most scenic parts of the AT throughout each state. Anyhow, Virginia has four vistas highlighted on this map, one of them being McAfee Knob. I did a simple google image search and immediately became obsessed with the notion of hiking to this particular outlook. So, one very beautiful afternoon I set off with my boyfriend and a friend to hike up to McAfee Knob.
To put it simply (but accurately) the hike was fun. It was a little over four miles to the top from the VA-311 parking lot. On our way up we saw a few shelters and springs, but all the springs were dry. It’s a pretty steady uphill after the first mile of the hike, and then the last half a mile became steeper and really got our hearts pumping. Once we arrived at the summit, the view was absolutely spectacular. You can see the Catawba Valley, North Mountain, Tinker Cliffs and the Roanoke Valley.
We started our hike around 5:00 pm, got to the summit by 7:00ish (cant remember exactly how long it took), then started our decent around 8:00. About a mile down we hit the fire road and we decided to take that path down for the rest of the hike, which was a good call on our part because it quickly became dark. The fire road was more level, less rocky and easier to walk on when we couldn't see in the dark... and it got very dark, very fast.
It was such a great hike and the outlook was well worth the four uphill miles we had to walk to get there. If I did it again, I would go up late, again, but stay for the whole sunset and just campout.
The weather the past few days along the East Coast has been absolutely gorgeous so I hope everyone had a chance to get outside and enjoy their Fourth of July weekend!