Tinker Cliffs

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Day hike (out and back). 6.6 miles round trip. Hike the AndyOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Lane trail to intersection with Appalachian Trail and continue for unparalleled 180 degree views.

Note: The Tinker Cliffs hike is one of the more popular hikes in the area and sees a tremendous amount of hiker traffic. It is ideal to hike this on a weekday as weekends are very crowded. Please read specific rules and regulations at the bottom of this description.

Trail Description

  • From the trail head take the yellow blazed Andy Lane trail for about 3.1 miles to the intersection with the Appalachian Trail.
  • You will cross two fence stiles, then two Catawba Creek bridges. Continue as trail bears left, then right after 100 feet.
  • After 3 miles of hiking you’ll reach the intersection with the Appalachian Trail.
  • Turn right onto the white blazed AT (Southbound) and reach Tinker Cliffs within 0.75 miles. Enjoy the 180 degree view!
  • Length: 6.6 miles (3.3 miles one way and backtrack).
  • Elevation range: From 1,300 feet near the trailhead and creek crossings to just a hair under 3,000 feet at the cliffs.
  • 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.
  • Some tough, steep stretches as it rises 1,700 feet in elevation.

Directions to Trailhead

  • The trailhead is almost exactly halfway between Catawba and Daleville on Virginia 779. Take Virginia 311N from I-81 at Salem, go 8 miles to Catawba, turn right on 779 at Catawba, then travel 8.3 miles to trailhead, located on the right just past a bridge and turn in the road.
  • Or, go 1.5 miles on U.S. 220 North from I-81 near Hollins to Daleville and turn left 8.4 miles to the trailhead, on the left. Virginia 779 is also marked as Catawba Road and Bikecentennial bike route 76.

Rules & Regulations

  • Max. group size for day hikes is 25 people.
  • Max. group size for backpacking/camping is 10 people.
  • No alcohol
  • Bring lots of drinking water
  • Bring a flashlight as groups often lose track of time and are hiking back in the dark
  • Dogs must be on leash at all times
  • No camping or campfires on McAfee Knob, Dragon’s Tooth, or Tinker Cliffs
  • Practice Leave No Trace
  • Pack out all trash
  • No camping or campfires outside of the 7 designated shelters/camping areas.
  • Visit local A.T. C. Club for more details.
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