McAfee Knob Trailhead Shuttle
McAfee Knob Trailhead Parking Lot to close on November 30, 2023
A pedestrian bridge to carry the Appalachian Scenic Trail over Route 311 will start construction in early 2024. In order to prepare for construction the parking lot will not be open for parking to any vehicles starting November 30, 2023.
View the VDOT project page for up to date information regarding the project and the status of the parking lot.
Make Your Trip to McAfee Knob Easy!
The McAfee Knob Trailhead Shuttle Service provides safe and convenient transportation to the McAfee Knob Trailhead on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays with occasional Mondays for holidays (Memorial Day and Labor Day).
When planning your visit to McAfee Knob you should allow four to six hours to complete the hike. Please consider this time frame when booking a return reservation to the Park and Ride.
The shuttle has capacity to hold 20 passengers on each shuttle run.
The Appalachian National Scenic Trail in our area is not accessible by wheelchair. The funding obtained to operate the shuttle requires ADA accessibility on the vehicle.
The Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT) is supporting the McAfee Knob Trailhead Shuttle with state funding.
Seasonal Shuttle Schedule
The shuttle will run on a continuous loop from the I-81 Exit 140 Park and Ride in Salem, Virginia following a route to the Catawba Community Center to turn around and then safely deliver passengers to the designated shuttle pull-off near the McAfee Knob Trailhead parking lot. Passengers waiting for the shuttle at the trailhead parking lot should stand clear of the pull off area as the shuttle approaches to pick up passengers. The shuttle will then return to the Park and Ride for the next shuttle run. The route is approximately a 15 minute ride to and from the trailhead.
March 2023 -7:00 A.M. to 6:30 P.M.
April 2023 through September 2023 - 7:00 A.M. to 7:00 P.M.
October 2023 - 7:00 A.M. to 6:30 P.M.
November 2023 - 7:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.
Shuttle Reservations and Fare
$5 one way, $10 round trip plus processing fees.
Book Your Shuttle Ride to the McAfee Knob Trailhead
Riders may book online at www.McAfeeShuttle.com by clicking BOOK NOW.
- All payments are cashless.
- The fare is $5 one way and $10 roundtrip plus, booking fees.
- The reservation is booked once the rider selects a time slot.
- If a reservation is missed, you will be placed on standby pending available seats on the next shuttle.
- For additional information on booking please call (540) 761-7564 between the hours of 6:30 AM and 7:30 PM on Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday's that fall on a holiday.
The Smart Way Bus is the regional public transportation service operated by Valley Metro. It links the Roanoke Valley and the New River Valley for a fare of only $4.00, each way.
Virginia Breeze Bus Lines
Maximize your travel experience with the Virginia Breeze Bus Lines by learning more about the towns and cities along the route. Explore museums, visit national parks, and shop at local farmers' markets and unique small-town boutiques.
Virginia Breeze (Highlands Rhythm - Bristol to Washington D.C.)
Parking is limited at the McAfee Knob Trailhead. To help ease parking congestion, please consider carpooling or utilizing one of the additional areas listed below.
Hikers will find 25 additional parking spaces provided at the Catawba Sustainability Center at 5075 Catawba Creek Road, Catawba, Virginia 24070. Parking at the Catawba Sustainability Center will also allow access to the Appalachian Trail and to McAfee Knob via the Catawba Greenway.
Limited parking is available on Old Catawba Road ( Route 864). Drivers should park as far off of the road as possible and not park where there are signs stating no parking. This road is used for emergency vehicles and drivers should avoid parking on sharp turns.
McAfee Knob is Best Experienced With...
- Good walking or running shoes or boots,
- 1-2 liters of water per person,
- A snack,
- A real flashlight – not your cell phone!
Better yet, see the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club video below for the 10 Essentials to Visiting McAfee Knob.
For the latest news, visit the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club website.
See Roanoke County's McAfee Knob webpage for important trail information, maps, and links to other local hiking destinations.
- What is the seating capacity of the shuttle?
The shuttle has 20 seats and has ADA accessibility for two wheelchairs.
- How do I book a ride?
You may book your ride by visiting www.McAfeeShuttle.com. The reservations are on 30-minute cycles as it takes approximately 15 minutes each way.
- Can I book a one-way ride?
Yes, many hikers book a one-way trip if they plan to stay overnight and see the sunrise. You may want to consider booking your return trip on the shuttle for the next day.
- Can I book a ride in person?
Yes, on your smart phone visit www.McAfeeShuttle.com.
- Does the shuttle provide service on other days of the week?
Currently, the shuttle will provide service only on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays along with holidays that fall on Mondays. Check back in 2023 for an updated schedule.
- What is the cost?
The cost is $5 for a one-way trip $10 roundtrip, plus online booking fees per ticket. This is a cashless system, so no cash payment is accepted by the driver.
- What happens if I cannot make my selected time slot?
If you are not able to make your selected time slot, the shuttle will transport you when there is room available on the next available shuttle. Riders have the capability to cancel right up to the time of their reservation.
- The last shuttle has deployed for the day and I have missed my time slot to return to the Park and Ride. Who do I contact?
Live phone support is available at (540) 761-7564, 30 minutes after the shuttle service has ended. If an after-hours shuttle needs to return to the trailhead to pick up hikes who have missed the last scheduled shuttle, a fee of $25 per person will be charged. ***There is no guarantee of transportation being provided after the shuttle service has ended, past the 30-minute time frame.
Please have a backup plan in the event you miss your reservation after service hours have ended. This may include a family member, friend or ride App service available to pick you up from the trailhead.
- Are refunds available if I change my mind?
All refunds are at the discretion of the vendor and will be processed by the vendor if approved.
- How long does it take to hike the Appalachian Trail?
Everyone has a different pace but on average you should allow four to six hours to complete the hike.
- Can my dog ride the shuttle?
ADA service dogs are permitted.
Service animals may accompany their owners on the shuttle. Under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA.
- Who is responsible for any vehicle damage that may occur while being parked at the I-81, Exit 140 Park and Ride lot for the shuttle?
Each vehicle owner is responsible. Roanoke County and the Virginia Department of Transportation assume no liability for any damage that occurs while the vehicle is parked in the I-81, Exit 140 Park and Ride.
- Who should I contact if I have questions regarding the shuttle service?
Questions regarding booking or cancelling a reservation, refunds or after-hours transportation should be directed to Ride Source by completing the contact us section of the www.McAfeeShuttle.com website or by phone (540) 761-7564.
Questions regarding the operations of the McAfee Knob Trailhead Shuttle Service may be referred to Paula Benke, Transit Planner for Roanoke County by email or by phone at (540) 283-8931.
- Does the shuttle service other areas such as the City of Salem or Dragons Tooth?
No, the shuttle is a fixed route from I-81, Exit 140 Park & Ride to the McAfee Knob Trailhead with a turnaround at the Catawba Center.