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McAfee Knob Challenge

A cache by Greerx4 Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 11/21/2010
3 out of 5
4 out of 5

Size: Size:   regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

*******Congrats to "rover-r-us" as "FTF"!

++++++Congrats to Spider73 for being the 1st to do “Old Gimpys Bears, A Flat Top Reflection, and McAfee Knob Reflection in ONE day! What a feat! This is the guy that introduced me to Geocaching! How neat is this!

Thanks to NatureGator & Old Gimpy for the help in planting this cache. Guess you could call us the “AARP Gang”!

If you think this cache is too difficult for you, I can assure you it’s not:
1. NatureGator had her spine re-manufactured some years ago, and the Mtn’s are a real challenge for her, but she knows she must stay active! See made it round-trip in good-time.

2. Old Gimpy has enough metal in one of his lower legs to build a 747 airliner. He made it and even carried the 5-lb ammo-box (w/contents), up the Mtn, in his Vietnam era “Alice-pack”.

3. Me, well I am 64-yo and have severe planters fasciitis, in both feet! I made it!

Go on, give her a try, get some excellent outdoor exercise and see some views, that are 2nd to none!

1. This cache is NOT planted close to any viewing locations.
2. Is at least 100-feet from the trail
3. Planted so as not to damage plant-life
4. Estimate only about 4 – 5 Geocachers per year due to the distance “up” the Mtn
5. 30mm Ammo Can

McAfee Knob is one of the most photographed spots on the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) as it winds its way through Virginia. states: “In Virginia, McAfee Knob is the Appalachian Trail's poster and postcard image. Pick up an Appalachian Trail calendar and there's a good chance it's there.” The Knob has an almost 270 degree panorama of the Catawba Valley and North Mountain to the West, Tinker Cliffs to the North and the Roanoke Valley to the East. If you are going to do this as a backpack and plan on camping at the Pig Farm campsite or Campbell Shelter the total distance will be 9.5 miles.

It is a steady climb of around 1700’ in about 4.4 miles to the Knob from the VA311 parking area so you will get a good workout. On a clear day you will have some of the best views in the Southern Shenandoah Valley. Due to its popularity you will not be alone on this hike, but the overhang of McAfee Knob and its views make up for the lack of solitude.

From the right side of the A.T. parking area, cross over VA311 and pick up the white blazed A.T. north. In about 0.3 miles there will be an information kiosk on the left. Continue on the A.T. crossing four wooden walkways prior to reaching the Johns Spring Shelter on the right in 0.8 miles.

There will be another five wooden walkways before reaching the Catawba Mountain Shelter in 1.4 miles. In less than 0.1 miles before the shelter on the left, you will notice a spring with a white pipe protruding from some rocks with a constant stream of water (note: always treat water from unknown sources). Staying on the A.T. for another 0.1 miles arrive at two good camp sites, the A.T. bears to the left just before the camp sites.

Remain on the A.T., crossing an old fire road and going through a high voltage power line clearing. In 0.3 miles past the power line clearing there will be the first good overlook on the left looking down to the Catawba Valley. Go 0.5 miles further up the trail to the McAfee Knob Spur Trail. Turn left, and in about 30 yards you will reach the top of the Knob with some outstanding views and of course, McAfee Knob protruding out well beyond the rest of the cliffs. There are significant drop offs so be careful.

For your return trip; retrace your steps and head south on the A.T. back to the parking lot for a round trip total of 8.8 miles.
For a more leisurely return route, consider taking the un-blazed old fire road which you crossed on the way up (the trail map uses this route). About 1.4 miles from the Knob, turn right onto the old fire road, staying on it until you reach VA311 in 2.6 miles. Pass a gate/barrier just before reaching VA311. The A.T. Parking will be to your left as you cross VA 311. Using this route is 0.5 miles shorter than using the A.T. both ways.

Stay on the trail until you GPSr shows you within about 100-feet.

Items in the original placement: 2-DVD's. 2 paper-back books having to do with hiking, Emergency Space Planket & misc items.

If you take something, please leave som reward for future Cachers!

Checkout our other Mtn To Caches:
A Flat Top Reflection
Old Gimpy’s Bears

***Dedicated to Cherokee Bill, NatureGator, and Old Gimpy: adopted by GreerX4 ***

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

Haqre gur "pyrsg" bs n tebhaq-yriry ebpx!

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)