Lake James — Shortoff Mountain Trail

Linville, North Carolina

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10 Reviews
4 out of 5
Psst! Put down that trail guide telling you that the way to get to the best view of Linville Gorge is via a strenuous 11.2-mile march. I’ve got a shortcut that’ll get you there in about 2 miles. The backdoor route up Shortoff Mountain begins inconspicuously enough, through a young forest in which a variety of successional first responders jockey for sunlight. It’s a bit scrubby. But as the Shortoff Mountain Trail quickly ascends—at times on an old roadbed, at times switchbacking up single-track—it assumes a more mature, mountain-like feel.
100 Classic Hikes in North Carolina

DESCRIPTION FROM:

100 Classic Hikes in North Carolina

by Joe Miller (The Mountaineers Books)

Psst! Put down that trail guide telling you that the way to get to the best view of Linville Gorge is via a strenuous 11.2-mile march. I’ve got a shortcut that’ll get you there in about 2 miles.

The backdoor route up Shortoff Mountain begins inconspicuously enough, through a young forest in which a variety of successional first responders jockey for sunlight. It’s a bit scrubby. But as the Shortoff Mountain Trail quickly ascends—at times on an old roadbed, at times switchbacking up single-track—it assumes a more mature, mountain-like feel.

©  Joe Miller/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Linville
Distance: 4.4
Elevation Gain: 1,321 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 1.5 to 2.5 hours
Season: Best in Fall
Local Maps: Trails Illustrated Linville Gorge/Mount Mitchell, Pisgah Ranger District; USFS Linville Gorge Wilderness; USGS Ashford
Driving Directions: Directions to Lake James — Shortoff Mountain Trail

Recent Trail Reviews

10/24/2010
1

I am not your typical athletic hiker - this trail was difficult for me to hike, but well worth the effort - I could have spent a week sitting on one of the numerous rocky overlooks. Regardless of where you are standing or what direction you are looking - each and every view was awesome. Wish I would have taken a backpack and spent the weekend - hiked in October - perfect weather and unbelieveable color.


6/17/2010
0

Moderate hike provides great view of the Linville Gorge


3/25/2010
0

Awesome hike. This is a cheaters trail to some chimneys.


7/1/2009
0

Your own post apocalyptic world right in your backyard...


3/8/2009
0

Launched from top of Wolf Pit Rd as described with my 10 year old this am; the second prettiest and warmest day of the year so far in 09. As noted in the article and other reviews, keep right at a couple of early intersections, until you see the Mts-to-Sea trail crossing (about 2/3rds the way up; double white circles to left); stay straight at that point rather than taking the straight upward route to the right. The views of the gorge are magnificent and unique relative to those of the area from Hawksbill or TableRock. For an extra bonus, follow the trail a bit (.5 mi) past the last ovelook campground. There, after passing a small, clear shallow pond, you can catch a few more looks to the west and north into the Chimney Gap. For a shortcut home, when you turn around take a left down the trail before heading back to the Shortoff overlook and catch the trail to the left back at the Mt-to-Sea trail crossing. Great Day.



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