McAfee Knob Trailhead Shuttle Service Expands Into City of Salem

Shuttle service resumes March 1 through December 1

Roanoke County and the City of Salem today held a ribbon cutting ceremony to announce the expansion of the McAfee Knob Trailhead Shuttle service into the City of Salem. Speakers included Phil North and Martha Hooker, Roanoke County Board of Supervisors; Renee Turk, Salem City Council; Dr. Ray Smoot, Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board; Ed Clark, Appalachian National Scenic Trail; and Lisa Sink, Ride Source.

The McAfee Knob overlook is one of the most photographed locations on the Appalachian Trail. Because of its popularity, this iconic rock outcropping now attracts about 50,000 hikers each year. The National Park Service has for several years tracked visitation rates, the impacts on the Appalachian Trail, as well as the constraints on parking capacity.

To help accommodate this demand, Roanoke County applied for and was awarded funding through a grant request to the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), and in September 2022, the McAfee Knob Trailhead Shuttle made its inaugural run. In 2023, Roanoke County again sought and received funding from the DRPT to add additional stops in the City of Salem to provide even more parking options. The new shuttle stops include Longwood Park and 101 South Broad Street.

The expansion is timely, coinciding with VDOT’s construction of a pedestrian bridge that will carry trail users from the McAfee Knob trailhead parking lot over Route 311, away from vehicular traffic. The trailhead parking lot is closed to all vehicles during this period but access to the trail is still available during construction which is estimated to be completed in late fall of 2024.

The McAfee Knob Trailhead Shuttle will resume service March 1 and run through December 1. Service provides safe and convenient transportation to the McAfee Knob Trailhead on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, with occasional Mondays for holidays (Memorial Day and Labor Day).

Shuttle stops include Longwood Park and 101 South Broad Street in Salem, the I-81 Exit 140 Park and Ride, and the Orange Market Park and Ride near Hanging Rock. Shuttle service safely delivers passengers to the designated shuttle pull-off near the McAfee Knob Trailhead parking lot.

Reservations may be made by visiting www.McAfeeShuttle.com and click BOOK NOW. Tickets are $5 one way, plus booking fees. For more information about this service, visit
www.roanokecountyva.gov/McAfeeKnobShuttle

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