Locate the yellow blazed Andy Layne Trail at the end of the parking area.
Mile 0.6 – Cross the 1st Catawba Creek Bridge, parallel Catawba Creek with unique cliff face on opposite side of creek, then reach the next bridge.
Mile 0.8 – Cross the 2nd Catawba Creek Bridge. Start the 200ft climb to the gate.
Mile 1.2 – Arrive at the gate, and as long as you stay on the trail you are granted permission to go around the “No Trespassing” sign from the Roanoke Cement Co. The trail bears to the left around the gate, and in 100 yards bears to the right. The next portion begins the tough part of the hike, gaining 900ft+ feet before reaching the Appalachian Trail. One section has no switchbacks for about 0.4 miles.
Mile 3.0 – Reach the white blazed A.T. and stay right/south, this area is referred to as Scorched Earth Gap. Continue 0.6 miles south on the A.T. for a beautiful view to the north.
Mile 3.6 – View to the northwest of Broad Run Mtn and to the Northeast of Fincastle.
Mile 3.8 – 1st view of Catawba Valley but a better viewing area is about 200 yards beyond.
Mile 3.85 – 2nd view of Catawba Valley. Great place for lunch and taking in the views. McAfee Knob is clearly visible to the south
Mile 7.7 - Retrace your steps to return to the parking area.
- Camping: Yes
- Sunrise: No
- Sunset: Yes
- Water source: Yes
- On the A.T.: Yes
- Parking Lot Size: Medium