As of September 2021, the two legs of the Catawba Greenway are a 2.9 mile trail, connecting the Appalachian Trail to the Catawba community. when combined with the Appalachian Trail, the Catawba greenway makes for about a five mile loop, or about a 10 mile option to hike out to McAfee Knob.
The Catawba Greenway begins at the trailhead parking at Virginia Tech’s Catawba Sustainability Center, an agricultural research facility focused on improving farming techniques while restoring eco-system health. The trail follows the roadbed of old 311 for a short distance up to a shelter on a knoll, offering dramatic views of the Catawba Valley and great bird watching opportunities. This section of the trail (and the table at the shelter) are wheelchair-accessible. Beyond the shelter, the greenway becomes a more traditional hiking trail constructed by the Pathfinders Midweek Crew. This trail begins to climb in earnest until it reaches the the McAfee Knob fire road. To make the trail a loop, follow the AT back south to 311, where the other leg of the Catawba Greenway descends to a bridge across Catawba Creek and another crossing of Rt. 311. After crossing Rt. 311, the route proceeds to the Catawba Community Center, an old school building and home to a great farmer’s market on certain days. From the community center, follow the blazes along the fence line and 779 until you return to the sustainability center.