A Hot Spot To Protect McAfee Knob

Catawba, VA: A crisp breeze slices through the air, and puddles fill spaces in the uneven ground as the Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainers wrap-up a week of 20 Leave No Trace Awareness Workshops, each a part of the McAfee Knob Hot Spot week. The four mile-long section of Appalachian Trail is the gateway for McAfee Knob and its iconic diving board rock. This precipice of rock overlooking the Roanoke Valley is host to thousands of visitors each hiking season. A favorite trail among many people living in the surrounding towns and cities, the knob is in danger of being loved to death.

The scenic Appalachian Trail stretches 2,168.1 miles from Springer Mountain, Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. It takes the average hiker anywhere from five to seven months to conquer this technically challenging terrain. The number of thru-hikers completing the trail each year is increasing significantly. During the season of 2014 over 1000 people completed the entire length of the trail. You may be thinking, “1000 people in a year? What’s the big deal?” Thru-hikers make up a small portion of the total number of visitors passing thru the 4-mile stretch to McAfee Knob each year; other people visiting the area include section hikers, day hikers, and backpackers. All of these visitors mean that on a busy weekend, hikers are taking turns for photographs on the knob, with some people waiting an hour or longer!

This past Hot Spot week was all about educating people about the how we can work together to protect the McAfee Knob region as well as other places on the AT that we enjoy spending our time.

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To learn more about conservation on the Appalachian Trail and how you can get involved visit the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

To learn more about Leave No Trace Hot Spots and to see if one is coming to an area near you, click here

Enjoy your world. Leave No Trace. 

Steph and Andy – Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Team East

Leave No Trace’s Stephanie Whatton and Andy Mossey are part of the 2015 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to communities across the country. Proud partners of this program include Subaru of America, Deuter, Hi-Cone, REI, Smartwool, The North Face, and Yakima.