Linville Falls Trail

Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina

Distance0.9mi
Elevation Gain474ft
Trailhead Elevation3,182ft
Top3,370ft
Elevation Min/Max3177/3370ft
Elevation Start/End3182/3182ft

Linville Falls Trail

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.

Linville Falls Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Best Hikes Near Asheville, North Carolina (Falcon Guides)
Johnny Molloy
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"Explore a total of over 4 miles of trails centered on renowned 150-foot Linville Falls, off the Blue Ridge Parkway. From the visitor center you first view Upper Falls, then soak in elevated looks at the main portion of Linville Falls backed by a panorama of Carolina mountains. Return to the trailhead, then take the more challenging track to Linville Falls and its big, stone-rimmed plunge basin, then grab an additional elevated perspective. Finally, pay a little visit to 12-foot Duggers Creek Falls aquatic tour. Linville Falls is arguably the signature cataract for the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. After all, it has its own visitor center and campground centered around it, and a fine set of nature trails of varying diculties ffi that add up to over 4 miles of hiking if you do them all. Moreover, these paths are not just aimless walks in the woods. The trails lead to multiple vantages of 150-foot Linville Falls from near and far, up and down, below and beside." Read more
100 Classic Hikes in North Carolina (The Mountaineers Books)
Joe Miller
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"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." Read more
Waterfalls of the Blue Ridge: A Hiking Guide to the Cascades of the Blue Ridge Mountains (Menasha Ridge Press)
Nicole Blouin, Steve Bordonaro, & Marilou Wier Bordonaro
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"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." Read more
Bicycling the Blue Ridge (Menasha Ridge Press)
Elizabeth & Charlie Skinner
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"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." Read more
100 Classic Hikes in North Carolina (The Mountaineers Books)
Joe Miller
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"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." Read more
"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." Read more
"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." Read more
Best Easy Day Hikes: Blue Ridge Parkway (Falcon Guides)
Randy Johnson
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"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." Read 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." Read 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. 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." Read more
Best Hikes Near Asheville, North Carolina (Falcon Guides)
Johnny Molloy
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"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." Read more

Linville Falls Trail Reviews

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7/21/2018
Linville Falls provides hiking options for beginning hikers through advanced trekkers. There are three trails originating at the Linville Falls Visitors Center. If you are interested in a strenuous hike, opt for the Linville Gorge Trail (1.4 miles round trip) and/or the trail to Plunge Basin (1-mile round trip). These trails all provide different and beautiful views of Linville Falls (the Lower Falls in particular) and the surrounding scenery, which is spectacular. I love that the trails all start and end at the visitor center and don’t differ drastically in length. This makes it easy for families or groups of friends traveling together to split up to take different hikes appropriate for their skill level.
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7/16/2018
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7/5/2018
Did the easy side. First and second view points good. Third one was way way way far away. First point gives good viewpoint of upper Falls and valley. Second allows you to see the main Falls.

I would like to go back and do the lower harder one when the boys get older
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4/7/2017
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7/18/2015
Busy on a Saturday, but a really area. Very well maintained trails.... easy-moderate hike, even for our 4 year old.
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10/22/2013
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
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3/18/2012
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.
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4/8/2011
Nice trail not hard at all nice and refreshing, nice views.
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3/20/2011
This is a really nice, easy hike along well maintained trails. Even with all the short spurs, you can do the entire main trail in about an hour. Definately worth checking out all the stops as the views are different and worth the time. We were there in late March, but there was still quite a few people, though not crowded. For a little more adventure, we took both trails on the basin side. The trip down to the base of the falls is a bit more strenuous, but the views up the falls are worth it. These trails are a good warm up for some of the more diffficult trails in the area.
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5/22/2010
I have not hiked the entire Linville Gorge, but I would have to say that what I have hiked of it was some of the most treacherous I've seen and some of the grades are crazy. Some scrambling is necessary at times. I would seriously rethink taking any small children, depending on which route you're going, especially if it's been raining and the ground is muddy. Depending on which trail you're on, it can get pretty hairy and one wrong step on some of the skinny, super-steep trails and you're down a ravine or falling and hitting your head on a rock. Otherwise, I say please go and enjoy some of the best views and craziest terrain east of the Missippi. Fantastic hiking here.
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Trail Information

Blue Ridge Parkway
Nearby City
Blue Ridge Parkway
Parks
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Moderate
Skill Level
Swimming
Additional Use
Waterfalls
Features
Pisgah National Forest, Grandfather Ranger District, 109 Lawing Drive, Nebo, NC 28761, (828) 652-2144, www.fs.usda.gov/nfsnc
Local Contacts
National Geographic #779 Linville Gorge, Mount Mitchell, Pisgah National Forest; USGS Linville Falls
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Dec 2018