This post is meant to be supplemental information for my video on YouTube highlighting this particular section of trail.

Notes for this video & section:

  • All mile markers are from the 2015 AT Guide, but distances from one point to another within this section should be relatively the same each year.  You can check out the AT Guide here: Also, the Guthook’s App is useful. Take a look at it here:


  • “Trail North” – means heading towards Katahdin on the trails instead of “Trail South” which is heading towards Springer Mountain. The trail obviously isn’t always pointed due North and it’s easier when on trail to make this distinction. Trail West simply means “to the left” if you are heading Trail North when you intersect another road and Trail East is to the right. I hope that isn’t too confusing. You will notice that the AT Guide is laid out this way.


  • General Vicinity of Highlighted Section: About a third of the way up the AT near a town called Catawba, VA.  catawbava-3


  • Distance: 19.8 miles – 27.2 miles one-way (depending on your preference)
    • There is also an opportunity for a 7.4 mile (round-trip) day hike – see maps below.


  • Entrances/Exits (See Maps Below for More Detail):
    -Mile 702.1: VA 624/Newport Rd. (No Parking) – Catawba, VA
    -Mile 708.0: VA 311 (Parking Area) – Catawba, VA
    (This is the entrance you would take for the 7.4 mile McAfee Knob day hike)
    -Mile 727.8: US 220 (No Parking) – Daleville, VA
    -Mile 729.3: US 11 (Parking Area) – Troutville, VA

First Entrance (No Parking)



Second Entrance (Parking Available) – Park and enter here for McAfee Knob day hike. Homeplace Restaurant is located 1 mile “trail west.”



Day hike: Second Entrance highlighting 3.7 mile stretch to McAfee Knob. You could park at the parking area, bring a lunch and eat at McAfee Knob, then return to your vehicle.



Third Entrance (No Parking directly at trail head) – You can see the Howard Johnson Trail East. It is seen fairly easily from the trail head and is definitely in walking distance. I stayed here during my thru-hike.



Entrance/Exit 4 (Parking Available near trail head)


  • Hostels:
    Four Pines Hostel
    6164 Newport Rd.
    Catawba, VA 24070
    (540) 309-8615


  • Shelters (All sleep 6, have surrounding tenting areas and a privy.)
    -Mile 709.0: Johns Spring Shelter (water is unreliable)
    -Mile 710.0: Catawba Mountain Shelter (water is unreliable)
    -Mile 712.4: Campbell Shelter (reliable water behind shelter)
    -Mile 718.4: Lamberts Meadow Shelter (reliable water)


  • Sights to see:
    -Mile 711.7: McAfee Knob
    -Mile 717.3: Tinker Cliffs


  • Other Relevant Info:
    The Homeplace Restaurant
    4968 Catawba Valley Dr
    Catawba, Virginia 24070
    (540) 384-7252


  • Original Blog Post Covering This Section (during my 2015 thru-hike):