May 26, 2024

McAfee Knob/Tinker Cliffs (Backpacking Trip, 15 Miles, Strenuous) ***CANCELED***

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Saturday, 05/04/2019 - Sunday, 05/05/2019

7:00 am - 7:00 pm

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McAfee Knob Trailhead


This backpacking trip features two-thirds of the famed “Triple Crown” in Virginia – McAfee Knob and Tinker Cliffs!  We will be combining the Andy Layne Trail with a section of the Appalachian Trail, resulting in a tough workout with some of the most spectacular views in Virginia.

This is a shuttle hike beginning at the McAfee Knob parking area on Route 311 in Catawba and ending at the Andy Layne parking area on Route 779.

Day 1:  Make the three-hour drive from Short Pump to Catawba.  From the McAfee Knob parking area, we’ll hike for 4.4 miles (1700 feet elevation, mostly uphill) to McAfee Knob where we’ll take a break to enjoy the views.  From there we’ll continue less than a mile to Campbell Shelter, which has ample campsites, a privy, and a water source.  We’ll set up camp for the evening and relax a bit.  Time, energy, and weather conditions permitting, we’ll retrace our steps to McAfee Knob and catch the sunset at around 8:12pm.  Then it’s back to our campsites for the evening.

Day 2:  Earlybirds may want to catch the sunrise at McAfee Knob at 6:19am.  Then it’s breakfast, break camp, and back on the trail!  From Campbell Mountain Shelter, we’ll head northbound on the A.T. for 5 miles to scenic Tinker Cliffs where we’ll take a break.  After reaching the cliffs, we’ll join the Andy Layne Trail, where we’ll encounter such charming features as “Scorched Earth Gap” and “Murder Hole” (don’t ask).   Total mileage for the day is around 9 miles (2000 feet elevation, mostly downhill once we get to the Andy Layne Trail).

But we’re not done yet!  Before returning home, we’ll stop at The Homeplace for some down home southern cookin’ served up family style!  The Homeplace is an institution for area hikers and backpackers – you won’t be disappointed!

Total distance for the weekend is around 15 miles.  Due to limited parking and camping spots, group size is very limited (no guests unless sharing a tent), and everyone is expected to carpool.  Please consider this a strenuous trip – no beginners please!  Join us if you’re up for the challenge!

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