Linville Falls Trail

Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina

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26 Reviews
5 out of 5
Linville Falls Trail is a hiking trail in Burke County, North Carolina. It is within Blue Ridge Parkway. It is 0.9 miles long and begins at 3,182 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 1.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 474 feet. The Linville Falls Visitor Center information office and the Linville Falls Visitor Center Parking are near the trailhead. There are also restrooms. The trail ends near the Erwins View and Gorge View viewpoints.
Distance: mi Elevation: ft
Linville Falls Trail is a hiking trail in Burke County, North Carolina. It is within Blue Ridge Parkway. It is 0.9 miles long and begins at 3,182 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 1.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 474 feet. The Linville Falls Visitor Center information office and the Linville Falls Visitor Center Parking are near the trailhead. There are also restrooms. The trail ends near the Erwins View and Gorge View viewpoints. This trail connects with the following: Upper Falls Trail and Chimney View Side Trail.
Activity Type: Climbing, Cross-Country Skiing, Fishing, Hiking, Mountain Biking, Road Biking, Scenic Drives, Trail Running, Walking
Nearby City: Blue Ridge Parkway
Distance: 0.9
Elevation Gain: 474 feet
Trailhead Elevation: 3,182 feet
Top Elevation: 3,370 feet
Additional Use: Swimming
Features: Waterfalls
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Driving Directions: Directions to Linville Falls Trail
Parks: Blue Ridge Parkway
Elevation Min/Max: 3177/3370 ft
Elevation Start/End: 3182/3182 ft

Linville Falls Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"If water had adventure parks, Linville Falls would be its Six Flags over North Carolina. First, there’s the anticipatory wait as water queues on the placid Linville River by the Linville Falls Visitor Center.

A footbridge over the river here is a good spot to observe trout lazily rise to the surface for a bite, breaking this deceptive calm. Cross the river and take the Linville Falls Trail downstream under a massive canopy of hemlock, sweetgum, and assorted hardwoods that escaped the logger’s ax over the years because of Linville’s wildness."

"Instead of several waterfalls on one trail, Linville Falls Recreation Area offers multiple trails to one waterfall, with a total of six different viewpoints. Hosting thousands of visitors annually, Linville Falls is probably the most famous waterfall on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was designated a Natural Heritage Area in 1989."

"Linville Falls and Crabtree Meadows are both wonderful areas from which to make day trips. You could set up base camp at either place and have plenty of options for exploring by bicycle. The various motels in Little Switzerland all make wonderful weekend getaways.

One of the highlights of this area is the vast apple orchard between Mileposts 328 and 329. In the fall, you can buy quite an assortment of apples, including Stayman Winesap, Stark Delicious, and York Imperial. If you are lucky enough to cycle through here between late April and early May, the apple blossoms will intoxicate you with their perfume."

"Linville Gorge has been described as one of the wildest spots on the East Coast. Of the seventeen trails listed in the U.S. Forest Service’s Linville Gorge Wilderness Map, twelve are rated “Most Difficult” while the other five are “More Difficult.” Linville Gorge is eleven thousand acres of steep covered in jungle.

The vertical forest floor is carpeted with numerous ferns and flowering plants, the understory thick with rhododendron and mountain laurel, and mammoth hemlocks puncture the mixed hardwood canopy. Because it is a wilderness, the trail is primitive—no signs, no blazes, no moving the trunk of a 300-year-old hemlock that’s fallen onto the path. There is no easy way into the gorge."

"Surrounded by one of those periodic bulges in the narrow corridor of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Linville Falls is the high road’s biggest waterfall (by volume of water). This oft-photographed cataract gushes 100 foaming feet into the Linville Gorge, the USDA Forest Service wilderness canyon that lies below the falls.

The Parkway’s easy National Recreation Trails introduce this wild chasm. Descriptions of the following trails are included: Duggers Creek Loop, Linville Gorge Trail, and Plunge Basin Overlook Trail; Linville Falls Trail."

"Surrounded by one of those periodic bulges in the narrow corridor of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Linville Falls is the high road’s biggest waterfall (by volume of water). This oft-photographed cataract gushes 100 foaming feet into the Linville Gorge, the USDA Forest Service wilderness canyon that lies below the falls.

The Parkway’s easy National Recreation Trails introduce this wild chasm. Hikes on both sides of the Linville River offer views of the falls. The routes in two separate options below start at the same small visitor center (open seasonally, offering restrooms and a bookshop) on the Linville River near Linville Falls Campground and Picnic Area."

"A variety of options explore virgin forest and rugged scenery near Linville Falls, an impressive cataract that plunges into the Linville Gorge Wilderness. A detour to the short, inspiring Wiseman’s View Trail is recommended from the alternative trailhead."

"For those who dare, the Linville Gorge Classic is a rugged, mountain bike challenge. This 50-mile loop follows U.S. Forest Service roads along the ridge line of the Linville Gorge Wilderness, a massive, 7,600-acre portion of Pisgah National Forest.

The Linville River cuts a deep path through 3,000- and 4,000-foot mountains as it rushes in a 2,000-foot descent toward Lake James and the Piedmont. Hard-packed gravel with deeply rutted portions, these roads have dramatically steep grades. You will break traction on the uphill climbs and go screaming down steep descents. This ride will jar you-all the way to the bone. Terrain: mountainous, gravel roads with severe grades and sharp, steep switchbacks. Mountain bikes only."

"A 19-mile gravel and paved route that encircles rugged Linville Gorge. This drive partially encircles Linville Gorge, a yawning chasm where the Linville River tumbles 2,000 feet in 14 miles. The route offers spectacular views into the deep canyon. Access trails lead to Linville Falls and the summits of prominent peaks such as Table Rock and Hawksbill Mountain. Although the drive is only 19 miles long, plan on a full day of travel.

Most of the road is gravel-surfaced, winding, and slow, and many nearby hikes are extremely scenic and worthwhile. Although the road is suitable for passenger cars, it is not meant for large RVs or trailers, especially in the section just before Table Rock Picnic Area. Special attractions: Linville Gorge Wilderness, Linville Falls, Pisgah National Forest, Wiseman’s View, Hawksbill Mountain, Table Rock, hiking, scenic views, and fall colors. This eTrail is a complete description of a scenic drive with a route map and information on the best travel seasons, interesting sites, recreation opportunities, camping locations, and much more."

"A 12,000-acre tract of designated wilderness, Linville Gorge lies between Jonas Ridge to the east and Linville Mountain to the west. The Blue Ridge Parkway skirts the head of the gorge on the northwest, where the Parkway’s Linville Falls Recreation Area provides a nice glimpse into the chasm.

Trails here include a roadside view trail and a variety of other hikes into a wilderness chasm, varying from a down- and- back trip to the bottom of the gorge to a few circuit hikes. Even if you don’t venture into the gorge, the 0.2-mile trail to Wiseman’s View is a worthwhile side trip to get a feel for the gorge and its surrounding forest roads."

"A 12,000-acre tract of designated wilderness, Linville Gorge lies between Jonas Ridge to the east and Linville Mountain to the west. The Blue Ridge Parkway skirts the head of the gorge on the northwest, where the Parkway’s Linville Falls Recreation Area provides a nice glimpse into the chasm.

Hikes include a wonderful roadside view trail and a variety of others into a wilderness chasm, varying from a down-and-back trip to the bottom of the gorge to a few circuit hikes. Even if you don’t venture into the gorge, the 0.2-mile trail to Wiseman’s View is a worthwhile side trip that will give you a feel for the gorge and its surrounding system of forest roads."

"Take a hike in legendary Linville Gorge to the Tower of Babel, where fantastic views await from a stony perch deep in the Linville Gorge Wilderness. Travel along the gorge slope on a rugged path that makes for slow going. Pass a river access and panoramas of the gorge, as well as a waterfall and big pool. Your ultimate destination is worth the challenging trail. The Tower of Babel is a notable stone knob nearly encircled by the Linville River. Soak in views of the wild canyon and mountains in the distance.

Linville Gorge is a “must”-hiking destination for residents of greater Asheville. The deeply carved valley is a federally designated wilderness and certainly exudes qualities expected in such an untamed place. The terrain is rugged and rocky, and wildfires regularly sweep through the gorge. The Linville River slices its way through a brawling chaos of rocks, boulders, and cliffs, occasionally slowing in inviting pools, then hurtling through unruly rapids. The trail system reflects the wild and rugged nature of the gorge."

Recent Trail Reviews

4/7/2017
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7/18/2015
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Busy on a Saturday, but a really area. Very well maintained trails.... easy-moderate hike, even for our 4 year old.


10/22/2013
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I have been to this waterfall many a time and enjoyed it just as much each time. The best time to go is during the fall when the leaves are changing


3/18/2012
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I've hiked several trails in this area. Hawksbill, Table Rock, Sitting Bear & Devil's Hole. The Devil's Hole was by far the hardest for me. It was hot, no air moving and I was not in the best of shape for this kind of hike but I made it!!! My favorites are the other three. Hawksbill, Table Rock and Sitting Bear all have Spectacular views and are not too strenuous or long.


4/8/2011
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Nice trail not hard at all nice and refreshing, nice views.



Activity Feed

May 2018