CATAWBA, Va. – Sawtooth Ridge is a short but rewarding hike on the Appalachian Trail. You’ll park at the McAfee’s Knob lot off of 311. On the trail map you’ll see that you’re going to head in the opposite direction to the ridge. That trail will start at the back of the parking lot with the at signs heading south. This hike is marked by white blazes.
The terrain of the trail is pretty smooth, as you can see I hiked in my chacos and was fine. We went at about 4:30 in the afternoon and about 1/3 of the way in I was already sweating pretty bad.
As you continue up the trail you will start to see the mountains through the trees, and on the path, there’s definitely a lot of pretty flowers and greenery. There were only a few parts within the first half mile that were a little steep, but for the most part it was a gradual incline
After about 15 minutes, you’ll come across a nice clearing with a decent view. Stop for a picture, then keep heading south. At about 3 quarters of a mile you will start a decline. After the descent, you’ll hit a sign that has the option to go to Catawba, stay on the AT heading south.
The last quarter mile is pretty much all uphill on a very narrow trail. Keep your eyes down and watch your step on this section! For a short hike, this part definitely got our heart rate up! After a switchback, you’ll notice that the at continues but there is a trail off to the left. That is where you’ll go for the overlook.
Walk around the back side of the rock and climb on up and you’re there! A short, moderate hike with a sweeping view of Fort Lewis mountain. When you’re finished, head north on the at back to your car.