Catawba Mountain Fire Road Temporarily Closed
Roadwork to Temporarily Close Catawba Mountain Fire Road to Hikers
Update: Due to weather delays, work did not begin on January 17 as planned. Work began February 7, and will continue until March 4.
(Roanoke, VA). Roadwork to improve the Catawba Mountain Fire Road for emergency vehicle use will require the road to be temporarily closed to hikers and all public use beginning Monday, January 17 through February 11. During this road closure, hikers will continue to be able to use the Appalachian National Scenic Trail to access McAfee Knob and beyond. This roadwork is weather-dependent and is being performed during the winter season to minimize disruption to hikers.
The Fire Road runs parallel to the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) northerly from the Trailhead Parking Area on VA-311, located approximately 10 miles north of Salem, VA. It is commonly used by hikers and walkers as a loop with the A.T. The Fire Road provides
important access for high-clearance emergency service vehicles responding to calls for hikers in distress, forest fires, and other incidents on National Park Service lands around the popular and well-known McAfee Knob viewpoint and trail feature. Lack of maintenance and several serious rain events in recent years have resulted in erosion and deterioration of the roadbed. This roadwork, using heavy equipment, will improve water drainage and the road surface on several deteriorated road sections.
Roanoke Appalachian Trail Club volunteers will oversee this contract equipment roadwork and be on site to advise hikers about the work. The equipment contract is funded with a grant from the Virginia A.T. Specialty License Plate program, RATC club funds and volunteer contributions.