Located about 705 hiking miles north of Springer Mountain, Georgia, McAfee Knob (located in Virginia) provides one of the most spectacular views and is one of most photographed sites along the Appalachian Trail. McAfee Knob is a marvelous outcropping of sandstone, sticking out into thin air like a diving platform (although I don’t think there are signs posted, no diving is permitted!).
The Knob has an almost 270 degree panoramic view of the Catawba Valley and North Mountain to the west, Tinker Cliffs to the north and the Roanoke Valley to the east. The view to the east provides an airplane pilot’s view approaching the Roanoke Regional Airport. On a clear day a thru-hiker can see the buildings of downtown Roanoke glisten in the distance. The Allegheny Mountains roll like ocean waves on the western horizon.
History records the first European visitors to the Roanoke, Virginia area dating back to the 1670s. Trading routes leading into the interior of the country were being explored and established about that time. However, it wasn’t until about 70 years later that Europeans began to actually settle in the area. James McAfee claimed land in the Catawba Valley in 1741 and most historians believe this early settler is the antecedent to the name of this famous knob.
Photo of Knob found at http://lamannasbaseballbulletin.com/hike/?page_id=42
Photo of hiker found at http://craze4hikn4.tripod.com/id9.html