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. The hike includes a 1,500-foot climb along a well-constructed trail with multiple switchbacks eases the ascent to one of the Roanoke Region’s iconic destinations.

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.

The route uses the Andy Layne Trail, named for an outdoors enthusiast and member of the Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club.


  • 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.


  • From Roanoke, Take I-81 N to exit 150 A in Cloverdale and merge onto US-220 S, Cloverdale 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.
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