Tinker Cliffs (Andy Layne Trail)

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The 6.6-mile out and back hike on the Andy Layne Trail intersects with the Appalachian Trail and ends with incredible views of the Roanoke Valley.

From 1,300 feet near the trailhead and creek crossings to just a hair under 3,000 feet at the cliffs, this hike will give you a vertical challenge and work out. The bluff-top views are the most prominent feature, but there are also nice creek drainages, intriguing rock formations, and lovely forests on the way. Even the part of the trail that goes through a cow pasture includes pleasant rushing streams and scenic views up toward surrounding ridges. Ultimately, there are some tough, steep stretches as it rises 1,700 feet in elevation, but this hike is totally worth the climb.

Distance

  • The round-trip hike is 6.6 miles total.

Hike it

  • From the trailhead, take the yellow-blazed trail for about 3.1 miles to the intersection with the Appalachian Trail.
  • Turn right onto the white-blazed Appalachian Trail (southbound) and reach Tinker Cliffs within .75 miles. Enjoy the 180-degree view of the surrounding nature, and follow the trailhead back down to your car.

Directions/Parking

  • From Roanoke, Take I-81 N to exit 150 A in Cloverdale and merge onto US-220 S, Cloverdake Rd. towards US-11 S.
  • Make a U-turn at US-11 N and follow VA-779/ Catawba Rd to your destination at Andy Layne Trail Troutville, VA 24175 (on maps).
  • There is parking exclusive to the trail and hikers at the bottom of the trailhead.

Add-on Adventures

  • Visit a local brewery for a drink after your climb or hike, such as Twin Creeks Brewing (20 miles away in Vinton), or Ballast Point in Botetourt (just a short drive in Daleville).
  • Visit Downtown Roanoke and check out the Taubman Museum of Art or Center in the Square, two landmarks of the area.
  • Visit the Fincastle Winery in Fincastle or Blue Ridge Winery on the James River for a glass of wine, or bottle to take home.

Nearby Breweries

  • Ballast Point Brewing Company: Virginia Expand Collapse

    Ballast Point Brewing Company’s newest facility in Daleville, Virginia, opened in 2017. Come for a tour, a taste, to fill a growler, or get a keg. The location offers craft beer, wine, and has a full restaurant. Open daily.

  • Flying Mouse Brewery Expand Collapse

    Secluded in a hollow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Flying Mouse Brewery focuses on the experience and enjoyment of craft beer as part of an active outdoor lifestyle, whether it be a cold draft after a long hike or a pint over conversation at dinner after a day of cycling.

    The brewery is accessible to Appalachian Trail hikers (less than half a mile from the trail) and for cyclists traveling along the TransAmerica 76 Bicycle route, which rolls past the brewery entrance.

    The tasting room and beer garden are open Friday through Sunday. Beer is available for take away in Flying Mouse Bullet growlers and packable beer pouches.

Nearby Wineries

  • Virginia Mountain Vineyards Expand Collapse

    At Virginia Mountain Vineyards you can forget about the present and enjoy the picturesque mountain views visible on top of Zion Hill. Surrounded by the Blue Ridge and Alleghany mountains, the vineyard is 14 miles north of Interstate 81 outside of Fincastle.

    The first generation family owned and operated vineyard and winery, offers 13 wines. Owners David and Marie Gibbs are happy answer questions about the vineyard or winery; greater knowledge about grape growing, harvesting, and processing may help you to better appreciate and enjoy a good wine.

    Virginia Mountain Vineyards was established in the spring of 1998 with the planting of 3,325 Chardonnay and Cabernet Franc vines. There are more than 5,625 vines today with the addition of Merlot, Traminette, and Petit Verdot grapes covering more than 9.5 acres. Virginia Mountain Vineyard is part of the Wine Trail of Botetourt County.

    The winery is open March through December.

Nearby Shopping & Gear

  • Blue Ridge Soaring Society Expand Collapse

    The Blue Ridge Soaring Society is a club operation located near New Castle, Virginia in scenic Craig County. The area is surrounded by the Jefferson National Forest, where the Appalachian Trail stretches through the wilderness of Virginia.

    The mountain ridges running through the area provide great ridge flights for long cross country flights. When weather conditions permit, wave flights are also possible. The BRSS has a high altitude waiver window, allowing for flights up to 23,000 feet.

    Every September, the BRSS hosts the Region 4 South contest. One of the most notable contests was in 1990, when 17 of the 25 pilots completed a 1,000 km task, covering ridges in four states.

    Ground facilities include a club house with full kitchen, great room, and dining room. There is a large campground with utility hookups and a shower house. Most social activities are centered around a large, covered picnic pavilion and bonfire ring.

    Our club glider fleet includes two L-23 Super Blaniks, two L-33 Blanik Solos, one ASK-21 and a high performance LS-6b. The club’s tow planes are a Call Aire and a 235hp Pawnee. In addition, about 20 privately owned sailplanes are based out of New Castle International Gliderport.

  • Botetourt County Horseman’s Association Expand Collapse

    The Botetourt County Horseman’s Association is designed to promote interest in breeding and showing of horses, to promote better horsemanship, to offer educational opportunities and social activities, and to stimulate interest in the equine and local equine activities and events.

    The group meets monthly and maintains an active Facebook group.

  • Gander Mountain Expand Collapse

    If you’re going fishing at Smith Mountain Lake or hiking on the Appalachian Trail, make sure you’re prepared with a stop at the Roanoke Gander Mountain. The store has a tremendous assortment of the top brand-name gear as well as technical clothing designed to make your day more enjoyable.

  • Wilderness Adventure at Eagle Landing Expand Collapse

    Located 40 minutes from downtown Roanoke in scenic Craig County, Wilderness Adventure at Eagle Landing is a full-service outdoor adventure center, summer adventure camp, and retreat center. Wilderness Adventure at Eagle Landing specializes in creating custom adventure programs for groups ranging from two to 100 people.

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