Recently I hiked up Catawba mountain in Virginia with family and it was amazing! This is our second time hiking it so we felt more prepared for the hike this time around. All together its an 8.8 mile hike on the Appalachian trail up to McAfee Knob in Virginia. Its one of the most photographed spots on the Appalachian trail its an incredibly beautiful view at the top.
If you are going to do this hike bring lots of water, I think the sign says at least 2 liters per person. The second time we did this hike we brought the hydration backpacks and that was much easier than carrying bottles.
There are two trails to the top, the fire road is much easier and you don’t have to do much climbing its more of a gradual ramp up to the spot where the trails join together. Then its another 1.3 miles of hiking I think those last 1.3 miles are the most brutal. We usually take the hard trail up and the fire road back down because of how exhausted we are after the first half of the hike.
Plan at least 5 hours in total for this hike, which allows for some time to take in the views. I would say its best to go as early as possible so you have as much time to relax at the top as you want.
After hiking for hours, you reach the top and sit down in just awe of how beautiful it is! It feels really rewarding to hike that long and be able to sit down and just take everything in.
Pro tip: Bring a hammock! If you are into camping there are places to camp along the trail, that would allow you to rest and spend more time taking in the views.