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Tinker Cliffs - McAfee Knob Backpack, 2 Nights, Easy to Moderate (?)

This has been one of our favorite hikes for several years!  This trip combines the Tinker Cliffs hike with the McAfee Knob hike.

Here's what hikingupward.com has to say:

The parking area off US779 (Catawba Rd.). [masked], [masked]

Outstanding views, a tough climb, a cool creek cliff face, wobbly bridges, Scorched Earth Gap, and The Murder Hole are just a few reasons to hike Tinker Cliffs via the Andy Layne Trail. We were so close to this trail when we hiked Carvin Cove/Hay Rock that we knocked this hike out the same day. Tinker Cliffs is the third leg in the Triple Crown of great views/hikes in this part of Virginia, along with McAfee Knob and Dragons Tooth.
It's around 3.8 miles to the top, but be prepared for an exhausting trek. (Phil - not really, if you go slow and take your time) You'll go through Scorched Earth Gap to get there, then look down on the valley where the Murder Hole cave is. Read the stories linked above about how they got their names, very interesting.

Bridge Warning July 2013: One or both of the bridges crossing the Catawba Creek near the beginning of this hike have been washed out as per a report from the Roanoke ATC. The crossing of the creek is possible during normal creek heights but would require fording with water shoes.

McAfee Knob is one of the most photographed spots on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) as it winds its way through Virginia. Roanoke.com states: “In Virginia, McAfee Knob is the Appalachian Trail's poster and postcard image. Pick up an Appalachian Trail calendar and there's a good chance it's there.” The Knob has an almost 270 degree panorama of the Catawba Valley and North Mountain to the West, Tinker Cliffs to the North and the Roanoke Valley to the East. If you are going to do this as a backpack and plan on camping at the Pig Farm campsite or Campbell Shelter the total distance will be 9.5 miles.

It is a steady climb of around 1700’ in about 4.4 miles to the Knob from the VA311 parking area so you will get a good workout. On a clear day you will have some of the best views in the Southern Shenandoah Valley. Due to its popularity you will not be alone on this hike, but the overhang of McAfee Knob and its views make up for the lack of solitude.

----------------------------------------

Here's the plan:

We'll drive up Friday and park at the Andy Layne trail head.  We'll then take one car the 10 miles to the where the AT comes out past McAfee Knob.  We'll then hike the 3/4 mile to an area just before a stream to camp.

Saturday morning, we'll take our time and hike up to Tinker cliffs. After a break and photos, it's off to Campbell Shelter (just before McAfee).  We'll camp and have a campfire, and possibly adult beverages.

Sunday, we'll hike the 4 or so miles to the trail terminus, stopping at McAfee Knob for the obligatory photos.

Then, probably the best part of the trip, it's off to the Home Place Restaurant for our 'victory feast'.  Many say this is the best restaurant, with the best prices, on the entire AT!

We have hundreds of photos from previous trips, as well as videos on youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePJZT4Yf7u4


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePJZT4Yf7u4



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  • Paul

    It was fun to see all of you on the trail. We had a fun hike also and I hope two smaller groups has a bit less impact on the approved camping areas.

    June 9, 2014

  • Phil

    fyi total distance was 12.9 miles

    June 9, 2014

  • Phil

    As usual, great group, great hike, great views, fantastic after hike feast! We're going to plan an 'all kilt' hike for July or maybe the fall, followed by a December hike to award a prize for 'best Christmas season decorated tent'!

    June 8, 2014

    • Paula G.

      Enjoyed the hike as always ! Great ideas for theme hikes :)

      June 8, 2014

    • Jim

      I'm in! To be executed in true Scotsman fashion?

      1 · June 8, 2014

  • Mike G.

    Had so much fun meeting some new friends and enjoying the great weather and the views. To top it off, we had a great feast at the Home Place!

    June 8, 2014

  • Paula G.

    We had a great group of backpackers and enjoyed spending time around the fire !

    June 8, 2014

  • James S.

    Darren
    Thanks for the offer. Bruce can ride with you.

    June 4, 2014

  • James S.

    Bruce
    Go ahead and ride with Darren. I can't get the car this weekend so I would need to drive my 4x4. That mean about $160.00 in gas. So I am standing down. Thanks

    June 4, 2014

  • James S.

    Looks like I lost my riders, Bruce if you need a ride BB& T meetup spot. Friday what time? Anyone else that needs a ride I think I have room for 2 more.

    June 4, 2014

    • Bruce E.

      Thank you. I can go anytime Fri. Just give me a meet time, address, and what vehicle to look for. I'm in a dark blue Suburban. Phone is[masked]

      June 4, 2014

  • Paul

    This trip has had a lot of late cancellations and has led to some people making alternate plans that prevented them from taking advantage of the last minute space. I will start another discussion to explore whether this is a concern we should address as a group. Since it affects more than those that will see this here I will start it in main discussion page.

    1 · June 3, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      When the organizer plans the trip having an automatic waiting list helps, because then the computer will just move people from the waiting list onto the trip automatically as people cancel. Instead of closing the RSVPs on a certain date or when the numbers reach a certain amount. People always cancel the week of the event - if you just post on the event page that everyone who wants to go on the trip will be able to go - people should just get on the waiting list and wait till people cancel.

      June 3, 2014

    • Paul

      People waitlisted will often make other plans and sometimes this has happened for trips that required airline tickets etc that are difficult to arrange last minute. I put some idea on the discussion pages and welcome comments and suggestions.

      June 3, 2014

  • Bruce E.

    Darren:
    Yes, still looking for a ride. Will be glad to meet wherever is convenient, and share gas. I'm coming from the Yorktown area.
    Thanks,
    Bruce

    June 3, 2014

    • Bruce E.

      Anytime Friday. Get in touch by my cell phone[masked] or email [masked] whenever convenient.

      June 3, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    If anyone has room in their vehicle for 3 passengers - myself and my 2 friends - we will make sure we cover all of the gas - we live in Virginia Beach, but can meet on the peninsula if more convienent for you!

    May 28, 2014

    • Phil

      Looks like her and her group just bailed.

      June 3, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      Yes. We had to bail. Sorry! Have fun!!

      June 3, 2014

  • Phil

    ok, looks to me
    like Bruce/Darren/Biscuit/Ricky can all ride together

    June 3, 2014

  • Phil

    Paula/Mike/Amy - meet at my house at 2pm? You guys should ride together(?)

    June 2, 2014

  • Bruce E.

    Hey, all. I'm still looking for a ride from Yorktown/Newport News area. Will of course share gas. If no ride, I'll be driving a suburban and can take others. Only problem is front A/C not working well :-( Could be stuffy if it's a hot day, but...
    the windows work!

    Thanks

    June 2, 2014

    • Phil

      Jimmy just emailed me that he can take riders

      June 2, 2014

    • Phil

      I asked him (Jimmy) to post his contact information!

      June 2, 2014

  • Paul

    I will be passing through this part of the trail with some others and we hope to share a lunch stop.

    June 2, 2014

  • Joe S.

    Aaarrrggghhh! Work!

    June 2, 2014

  • Larry C.

    Hey Phil, thanks for all you do for the group. Sorry we have to miss this trip. Looking forward to July.

    June 2, 2014

  • Hope C.

    Well it looks like we bow out again. Sorry. We are missing you all and the trail time! We are not going to miss the July trip to the Sods though!!! See you guys then :)

    June 2, 2014

  • Joe S.

    I am driving from Stafford....probably leaving about 3...ish on Friday.

    May 29, 2014

    • Tamara

      Can I ride with you Joe?

      May 30, 2014

    • Joe S.

      Hi Tamara,....yup! I'll PM you.

      June 2, 2014

  • Bruce E.

    I'm looking for a ride, please! Live on the Peninsula (Yorktown) but can meet elsewhere.

    Bruce

    May 28, 2014

    • Bruce E.

      OK, thanks for letting me know. I see there are two James/Jims on the attendee list. Which one is Jimmy and where is VAB? I will try to make contact with him.

      May 29, 2014

    • Phil

      James Stever, aka Biscuit & VA Beach

      May 29, 2014

  • Tamara

    Can anyone offer a ride for one person leaving MD who can help pay for gas?

    May 28, 2014

  • Tamara

    Can I carpool with anyone? Can help pay for gas

    May 26, 2014

    • Tamara

      Yes, from Frederick

      May 27, 2014

    • Tamara

      Can I ride with you?

      May 28, 2014

  • Dwayne

    I also have a Tundra so can carry 3 plus loads of gear.

    May 9, 2014

    • Mike G.

      Hope, he rsvp'd no.

      May 28, 2014

    • Hope C.

      Oh thanks Mike. Missed that

      May 28, 2014

  • Phil

    Arrival at the trail head/shuttles. Drivers, we need to pair up in order to place a car at the hwy 311 parking lot. i.e. I'll meet Darren at the Andy Layne Trail Head parking, drop of passengers, then place one car at the other end. This can be done either Friday night (easier to get it over with) or Saturday morning (folks will have to wait)

    May 27, 2014

  • Phil

    carpooling: If you need a ride, come up on the net and ask, also put out where you are coming from/live and about what time you can leave. If you are driving, please put out how many you can take and where you are coming from. Let the games begin!

    May 27, 2014

  • Jerry

    Phill I can't make this trip. I forgot about a graduation I am attending. Hope y'all have a great time.

    May 25, 2014

  • Ricky

    If possible I would like to ride with someone leaving the VA Beach area.

    May 23, 2014

    • Ricky

      Sure, I'll send you an email.

      May 25, 2014

  • Phil

    Many thanks to those that confirmed their rsvp's. We'll work on carpools in a few weeks.

    May 21, 2014

  • Joe S.

    Hi Phil,
    I planning on going....

    May 20, 2014

  • James S.

    Phil. I am still going. Thanks

    May 20, 2014

  • Marie

    Thining out the crowd a bit. Got guilted into going to watch my daughter play sand soccer. See you all on the next one.

    May 16, 2014

    • Rebecca

      We'll miss you Marie. Hope to see you on the trail again soon

      May 16, 2014

  • Paul

    I decided to skip this trip as it is a bigger group and will see about doing some different route and maybe see everyone in the woods at some point. Hope to meet the rest of you soon.

    May 12, 2014

  • Phil

    I put a map of the trail head in 'files', named snapshot 7.jpg

    May 11, 2014

  • anna

    Y

    May 10, 2014

  • Phil

    ok, one last thing from this giant post; Some of us will want to get to the Home Place Restaurant when we hike out (the most amazing meal). If you are going, post it, and I'll call and make us some reservations. Otherwise, if you don't get there early, expect a 1-1.5 hrs wait.

    May 5, 2014

    • Mike G.

      Paula and I for sure...Home Place rocks

      May 6, 2014

  • Phil

    As long as we have this many, here's what I propose.
    1. no problems with the friday camp, the area is huge. 2. We take of in 3 different groups leaving 30 min apart, 0830, 0900, 0930. 3. There are 3 distinct camping areas when we get to the shelter, the first is near the shelter (sub- optimal), the next is just up the hill from the shelter, the third is just up the hill from that, each can take 10 tents easily, but they won't be 50' apart. For those more ambitious, there are 2 more shelters just a few miles past McAfee Knob, groups want to do that, please let me know so I don't have to worry about you.

    May 5, 2014

  • Phil

    hey all, it's not too early to start talking about carpools and shuttle, this is a little complicated.
    1. If you can drive please post it with how many riders you can take and what area you live in. 2. If you need to ride, please post and tell us what area you are coming from. 3. After that, riders should try to contact drivers to arrange pickup places and times (also not bad to figure out gas sharing ahead of time). 4. Drivers need to pair up with a 'shuttle partner' or 'partners' to arrange to park a car at the far trail head after dropping of hikers at the Andy Layne trail head.

    May 5, 2014

  • Paul

    I see Phil posted another weekend choice for this hike. Smart move! Since we are such a large group still signed up for this weekend, how about splitting up a little into 2 or 3 smaller groups? Any ideas or thoughts? I think I can start a day early and extend the walk a bit but am open to suggestions.

    May 4, 2014

  • Phil

    If you didn't see it, I've posted a second trip for McAfee, if someone wants to avoid our backpacking flash mob

    1 · April 30, 2014

    • Mike G.

      The pony can't come if it stays this crowded...

      1 · April 30, 2014

  • Amy W.

    My son Alex wants to come with us. He wants to know how long the jump is off McAfee. Anybody? He says he can use a flying squirrel suit. Paul, do you have one he can use?

    1 · March 14, 2014

    • Mike G.

      Ask the pony, he knows.

      March 15, 2014

    • Paul

      Amy, I will look around my gear closet...

      March 17, 2014

  • Guy B.

    The bridge over Tinker creek has been put back in place. This is a very nice hike. Good time of year to do it as well.

    1 · March 16, 2014

    • Phil

      Hey Guy, thank you so much sir! Drop by and have breakfast with us if you get a chance, or possibly meet us at the Home Place on Sunday. Again, many thanks!

      March 16, 2014

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