Sawtooth Ridge

  • Highlights: Great views, Appalachian Trail
  • Distance: 2.0 miles out and back
  • Elevation Change 405 feet
  • Trail Surface: Dirt with some rocky sections
  • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Trailhead Parking: McAfee Knob/AT trailhead parking, route 311, Catawba VA
  • Website: AllTrails
  • Beer Pairings: Solstice Farm Brewery—Sawtooth Ridge wheat beer & Mile #708 NEIPA

Trail Map:

The Hike:

This easy hike on the Appalachian Trail has some nice views. The only drawback is it shares a parking area with McAfee Knob, one of the most popular hikes on the AT. The parking area holds 40-50 vehicles so either arrive early in the morning or plan to take the McAfee Knob Trailhead Shuttle.

The hike to Sawtooth Ridge begins on the parking lot side. Don’t follow the masses and cross route 311 unless you want to hike north on the AT to McAfee Knob. Look for the AT near the trail kiosk and head southbound on the white-blazed AT.

The AT passes along the ridge (Sawtooth Ridge) with some partial views through the trees. At .9 miles, the AT turns sharply to the left. Follow an old section of the AT as it backtracks to the north and passes a large rock outcrop on the right. Climb up on the large rocks for some great views of the Catawba Valley and mountains to the south and east.

The old AT continues steeply for several hundred yards where it joins the current AT. This is a steep section (one of the reasons the trail was re-routed years ago). We prefer to take in the views and then retrace our steps on the current AT back to the parking area. 

Hike Photos:

Click on an image below for an enlarged view.

Beer Pairing: 

Solstice Farm Brewery is located less than 10 minutes from the trailhead. In fact, you could hike here as the AT passes within a mile of the brewery. Owners Anna and Ed are hikers who grow hops and brew beer. They have indoor and outdoor seating, are dog friendly, and food trucks visit most weekends.

We decided to try a flight to taste a variety of beers and we can honestly say we liked them all. Pete really liked Sawtooth Ridge (4.5% ABV) a refreshing, lightly hopped German-style wheat beer. This farm-to-glass Hefeweizen is brewed with Saaz hops grown on their farm. Kathy always goes for a NEIPA and Mile #708 was a great choice. It’s named after the AT crossing just a mile up the road and 708 miles from Springer Mountain. This New England-style IPA is a hazy, citrus, and fruity hopped ale. We are already planning a return visit to Solstice.

Hike and drink responsibly. Never drink and drive. Stay safe, be responsible, and leave no trace.