McAfee Knob Trailhead Shuttle returns Friday

Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 4:50 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Preparations are underway as Roanoke County gets ready to relaunch the McAfee Knob Trailhead Shuttle. Here’s what you need to know if you’re planning a hiking trip this season.

Signs are going up announcing the return of the McAfee Knob Trailhead shuttle. It will make its big return Friday, March 3.

“We’re looking forward to providing that service again this year,” said Roanoke County Transit Planner Paula Benke.

Benke says the shuttle was successful in its first year. They had 716 reservations and 488 passengers over the 37 days of services between Labor Day and Thanksgiving weekends.

“Being the first time that Roanoke County had ever launched a program like this, we felt like the area really received it and it was a very positive experience,” added Benke.

There are two additions to the trailhead parking lot this year. One of those is a bench for people to sit and wait for the bus to pick them up from the trailhead parking lot after they finish their hike.

Roger Holnback and Liz Belcher with Pathfinders for Greenways, coordinated, constructed and installed the bench as a project after feedback from shuttle riders last fall indicated they would like a place to rest while waiting for the shuttle.

The second addition is two signs that prohibit people from parking near the bus stop.

“We saw that last season, that even though there was a designated shuttle pull-off, several individuals were still trying to park and approach within that area and making it very difficult for the shuttle to be able to pull in and load and unload passengers,” explained Benke.

The service will be available Friday, Saturday, Sunday and some holidays through November 26. Round-trip ticket prices will remain the same, $10 plus processing fees.

“You’ll want to check the website to see as far when service hours are. In March, 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. And then you will still pick up the shuttle in the Exit 140 Park-and-Ride in Salem and then take a quick trip up to the trailhead to start your hike,” said Benke.

Benke says they hope to receive additional state and local funds for the shuttle program in 2024 and 2025.

Click here to purchase tickets.