With parking at the mcafee knob lot on Va. 311 reaching levels that on some weekends are more like a stadium lot than a hikers’ car-stash spot, the nascent Catawba Greenway system on the Catawba side of the mountain is perhaps more anticipated than ever.
The loop, portions of which are already constructed, will intersect with the Appalachian Trail both north and south of 311, on the western face of the mountain, with a parking lot and restrooms projected to be built on the north side, near the Catawba Sustainability Center. The loop will consist of existing AT stretches on both sides of 311 and trails down the mountain, and will cross 311 again, near the new parking area near the Sustainability Center.
Both connectors to the AT involve crossings of Catawba Creek. The bridge on the north side—part of Old Catawba Road—is in place; the one on the south side is cleared for construction.
The other best part besides day hikers no longer having to make a sudden new hike plan when they can’t get into the 311 lot?
Thru-hikers (and the rest of us) won’t have to walk down 311 to get to The Homeplace any longer!