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2 Photosets

2020-09-11  
Tinker Cliffs, VA
mini location map2020-09-11
13 by photographer avatarDaytripper
photographer avatar
 
Tinker Cliffs, VA 
Tinker Cliffs, VA
 
Hiking avatar Sep 11 2020
Daytripper
Hiking7.70 Miles 1,945 AEG
Hiking7.70 Miles   4 Hrs      2.10 mph
1,945 ft AEG      20 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Despite the foggy morning and narrow country roads managed to make it to the parking lot for the Andy Layne Trail to start a hike to the cliffs overlooking Catawba Valley on Tinker Mountain. Only two cars in the lot when I arrived but as I was gearing up a van and a couple of cars arrived. Noticed the arrivals appeared young , fit and uniformly dressed and correctly assumed they would pass me on the trail but not feeling like waiting I went ahead. The yellow blazed Andy Layne Trail is well maintained with little vegetation but today a bit muddier than I expected , initially it loses elevation as the trail heads toward Little Catawba Creek. Crossed a small pasture leading to the foot bridge across the creek, it was heavily guarded by cattle, about this time the group of about 12 that started after me had caught up and I gladly let them pass so they could clear a path through the small herd :D Turns out they were recruits and instructors from the Roanoke Police Academy , they soon distanced themselves from me . After passing through another pasture I crossed the second foot bridge for the larger Catawba Creek . After this the trail starts ascending ,at first gradual until leaving the creek side, then steeply a couple of steep sections had steps fashioned from logs, one section with about a 100 and another half that. On the way I was introduced to the yellow jacket family , a mean bunch, but they managed to inflict only 3 stings before being brushed aside. Continuing up the switchbacks now the forest remains well leafed out so view visibility is limited. Heard one warning rattle on the way up but never saw the snake. Was on the lookout for bears which are frequently seen here but saw none probably due to the large group now in front of me. This trail is on private property owned by a cement company that allows use of the trail for hiking only no camping. Finally reaching the junction with the Appalachian Trail in an area known as Scorched Earth Gap. The story behind the name Is in 1982 a guide led a group of hikers here off trail on Tinker Mountain and during the bushwhacking an increasingly unhappy female hiker launched into a profanity laced tirade increasing in crescendo that by time the gap was reached the ground was smoking :o . At this junction a right turn to the south on the AT continues a moderately steep climb that brings you to the first areas where some views begin now you are about at 3.6 miles from the parking lot, to get the best views continue on for another .3 miles. Several flat rocky areas invite a lunch or snack break while still taking in the views. Returned the same way this time managing to avoid the yellow jacket clan. A popular shuttle hike is to continue on south from Tinker Cliffs to Mcafee Knob to make it a 12.8 mile one way trip.
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