National Park Service seeking input on how to improve Appalachian Trail near Virginia’s Triple Crown

What changes do you think should be made?

View from McAfee Knob on Sept. 6, 2022. (WSLS 10)

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Ever tried to hike up to McAfee Knob only to experience the crazy-crowded parking lot? You’re certainly not alone.

The National Park Service and its partners are starting the process to address how to best manage visitor use on the Appalachian Trail just west of Roanoke, which includes Dragon’s Tooth, McAfee Knob, and Tinker Cliffs.

Right now in those areas, with so many visitors, the trail segment is experiencing negative impacts to resources, overcrowded facilities, and safety concerns at road crossings.

“We are thrilled that so many visitors are enjoying this section of the AT. We have also noticed and heard from our stakeholders that there are real concerns about overcrowding that we want to address so that the Trail continues to be an accessible, enjoyable, and sustainable resource for the region now and into the future,” said Superintendent of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail Wendy Janssen. “In order to develop our plan for the future of this section of trail, the AT partners will take a look at strategies for managing high levels of visitor use.”

The planning process will explore how to address these concerns while balancing visitor use and conservation of the Trail’s resources.

The NPS will be holding two virtual meetings this month for people to learn more about the project, meet the planning team, and provide feedback by joining a virtual meeting.

  • March 9, 5:30 p.m. Virtual meeting
  • March 17, 10:30 a.m. Virtual meeting

Can’t join one of the meetings? Don’t worry!

The public is also encouraged to review materials and comment online through March 31.