Now, regarding the sign that points hikers to a trail located to the immediate left of the kiosk....After numerous online searches and an attempt to contact the Appalachian Trail Conservancy via Facebook (in their defense, thanks to Facebook's message set up, I doubt they know they received a message), I called the AT's Virginia office located in Blacksburg and spoke to an AT champion there. According to her, the Conservancy is aware of that path, which was likely created over time by hikers going the wrong way or who needed a restroom break before heading on to McAfee Knob. They're aware of its existence and are working on clarifying for hikers the proper route to take.
A few photos from our journey to the most photographed spot along the AT. Click to start the slideshow. (Mobile users, see photos on our Smugmug site.)