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  1. #1
    Registered User Dahoyt's Avatar
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    Default What's the shortest route up Mcphee Knob?

    Traveling with my fiancé who is inexperienced, but we want to hike the Knob together. I'm more then able to hike the 4.4 mile route from 311, but unsure if I want to take her up and back 8.8 miles. Also left all my guide books at home (over 900 miles away at this point). We brought gear to hike, but trying to look for the shortest route. Any suggestions would be great help.

  2. #2
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    take the old road up. it should be on the map

  3. #3
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    The old road is (est. 50 yards) left of the trail looking North from the parking area. There is a gate to block vehicular traffic. The road is an easy hike and the actual trail crosses the road a couple of miles in…you can't miss it. Turn left off the fire road and follow the blazes. You should have a nice …easy hike.

  4. #4
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dahoyt View Post
    Traveling with my fiancé who is inexperienced, but we want to hike the Knob together. I'm more then able to hike the 4.4 mile route from 311, but unsure if I want to take her up and back 8.8 miles. Also left all my guide books at home (over 900 miles away at this point). We brought gear to hike, but trying to look for the shortest route. Any suggestions would be great help.
    My 3 girls were all under 10 when I took them up there. I don't think it's 4.4 miles each way either. Plus there's a shelter to rest at.
    Pain is a by-product of a good time.

  5. #5

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    IIRC it's just under 4 miles each way. Also, the road isn't significantly shorter - it's just a more consistent gentle grade. You'll still have to take the AT for the last (steepest) section up to the knob itself.

  6. #6

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    Here's a GPS track of going up to McAphee's from 311. It follows the fire road up, then a brief detour on the way down followed by AT from the fire road crossing back to 311.
    https://connect.garmin.com/modern/activity/579709281

  7. #7
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    I took the trail up and the road down. Note that if you are on the road, you will miss the shelters. Also, coming down the road there is a sign that warns you to take the trail for that last little bit back to the parking lot. The road ends at the highway a ways down from the parking lot and the walk from the lot along the highway is not particularly pedestrian friendly. The trail ends right at the parking lot so there is no walking along the highway.

  8. #8

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    The distance from the fire road to the trail on 311 can't be more than 150 feet. It's not 'pedestrian friendly', but certainly not difficult either.

  9. #9
    Registered User Southerner's Avatar
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    If you are going today or any time soon, I would just stick to the AT. With the snow melt and rain of late, the road is probably going to be rather muddy in spots. Plus, as Caleb stated above, there's not a significant advantage to the road in terms of scenery, length, or difficulty. The AT is a bit more up and down as compared to the road, but the AT has more landmarks such as the shelters and small bridges to break up the trip mentally. What I personally like to do when going to McAfee's is to hike the AT to and over the knob, down the north slope to Campbell Shelter, the blue-blazed trail to the road, then the road to the right back to the parking lot (there is one intersection on the way back where you would need to bear left, but otherwise fool-proof). I really like the area that is just trail-north of the knob known locally as Devil's Kitchen. That does, however, add about 1.5 miles, so your girlfriend would probably just want to do the 3.9 miles to/from the knob as an out-and-back.

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