Explore E Tennessee - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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If you are looking for a heart pumper and you are in the area - go for it! I tend to go for scenery- not much to look at on the way up. Top view was good but small vista area that can get crowded.

This is such a unique hike! You get good views of Lake James early on and they don’t stop as you reach the top and beyond. Lots of ledges to look out on and plenty of great camping spots along the way and at the top. Not a big time commitment either - Really loved this hike.

2 days ago

Great hike! Rained most of the way up which kept the bugs away. We didn’t have much of a view, but the overlook was neat. I found the difficulty to be way less than Warriors Passage, Lead Cove to Bote Mountain, and even Silers Bald. And they are rated moderate. Totally recommend this trail!

Awesome waterfalls. Easy trails.

This is a super fantastic hike

This is a short but uphill hike the entire way with rewarding views at the end. The very last section leading to the summit is a bit of a rock scramble, but even the pups handled it like champs. The summit is small and could get really crowded when there are a lot of people and dogs. The trail was very muddy when I went after a rainy period so watch your footing.

on Linville Falls Trail

hiking
6 days ago

Great hike with a slow incline over about a mile. Well maintained trail. The last view (Erwin’s view) is probably the best view of them all and is a distant view. If you can only get to the first overlook...you will still get a decent view.

backpacking
9 days ago

The access road *is* accessible in a sedan. I managed to get a Charger up it, in the rain, with minimal fuss. Just be mindful of the blind corners, as most of the road is only wide enough for one vehicle.

PLENTY of water available from top to bottom this week. Just listen for water (and/or use your topo!) and you’ll find’em.

This is definitely a difficult hike when fully kitted out. I noticed the majority of people were carrying small day packs. Once you hit the switchbacks, you’re committed. The trail is well marked and clear, but definitely sketchy in a few areas and rather strenuous on the way up (and down!). Summer heat/humidity plus thunderstorms made for an interesting (and tedious) ascent.

Definitely doing this one again. I set up camp in a clearing just past the Gully Pipe, my hammock just a few feet from a cliff overlooking the Gorge. Absolutely stunning views at sunset, the sounds of the river almost 1,000 feet below and a gentle breeze made for an incredible site.

All said, an amazing trail and definitely worth doing. Just remember to do your part and LNT while visiting.

Beautiful trail. I did this with a 1st time hiker, although he said it was difficult he really enjoyed it. There are a few switch backs and the trail can be somewhat steep at times, the majority of the trail is very shaded. Not too many water sources so bring enough just in case one of the streams has dried up. I highly recommend packing a lunch so that you can really enjoy the fire tower and its beautiful views! A bit of a boulder scramble to make it to the firehouse, but the 360 degree views are amazing! At one point the trail was so dense with fog that visibility was roughly 30 ft. It was really cool and I highly recommend it.

hiking
9 days ago

Make sure you screenshot or have a hard copy of directions to get there as there is no cell service most of the way. The trail is very steep and can be done in chocos but I would not recommend it. It is beautiful once you get to the bottom and definitely a challenge but very fun.

Great trail, beautiful waterfall, stairs were a little tough, only downside really was the amount of people—a LOT

It is an amazing hike and worth he pain all the way up. Don’t be fooled, the map said 4 Miles so round trip 8. However, I clocked over 12
Miles. We went with my daughter 7 and she did great but was a struggle at parts. Gorgeous hike along the river for most of it with some fun bridges and river crossings. Go prepared with water and snacks!

The first 1.4 miles is mostly an uphill, rocky climb to the summit. After that, the trail flattens out, but it becomes more overgrown and quite narrow. There are several rock outcroppings after about the 1-mile mark with amazing views of the Gorge and Lake James. There's almost no shading on the trail, so hike early and bring a lot of water, especially in the summer. I hiked after a lot of rain, and there was also quite a bit of water on the trail. Overall, this is a great trail with fantastic views as you climb higher.

The trails that pass through the Visitors Center, across the bridge, and up a mild incline include the Upper Falls View (where you are within a few feet of where the river flows down through the rocks before plunging over the falls), Chimney View (which is directly across from the Plunge Basin Overlook), Gorge View, and Erwin's View. All offer great views but Erwin's View has the best view straight into the falls although the most distant. I consider this hike to be easy for all ages and the viewing areas are all stone walled in and safe. If you follow this trail, take in all of the viewing areas and don't stop at the Upper Falls as the red line on the map suggests.

hiking
17 days ago

The reward at the top is worth the pain!

One of our favorite hikes. It starts out from the paved parking area and moves right before the main bridge over the river. The path begins super easy as a flat path with fine, loose aggregate along the river with tons of paths to the water as well as a few slightly hidden viewing decks over the water (we saw a beautiful doe and fawn in the river from one of these overlooks yesterday). At one point the trail forks - stay left to stick to the river. It starts getting a little more difficult as you progress with rocks, tree roots and stone steps. There’s an area where it might be difficult for some - a rock slide from Hurricane Hugo in the late 80’s brought down slabs of granite and you have to traverse it to continue. Don’t worry! It’s not terrible. Just keep it in mind as it could be slick with the wrong shoes. As you get to the areas where you are getting closer to the falls you’ll cross the river on wooden bridges and almost all steep wooden steps or box steps filled with soil, to the falls and upper falls. Take it slow if you have bad knees because the hike is so worth it at the top. At the top of the falls you can come back the way you came if you want to stick to the river or continue on the loop back to the fork in the trail. The loop portion is all forest and fairly smooth hiking but it is uphill a good bit. The downhill is much appreciated. At one point there’s a natural spring trickling down beside the path. The only water you’ll see along that part. You’ll end back at the fork where you originally stayed left. The treck back to the parking lot is back on the same flat, fine aggregate path along the river. Enjoy this hike and take tons of pictures. It’s beautiful!

hiking
20 days ago

Fun short hike, though the incline/decline is quite strenuous. We hiked it in the rain and the rocks were still fairly easy to navigate!

rock climbing
20 days ago

hard going down and up but when you get down and to the falls it's worth it

also watch the drive going up to the parking, lots of deep holes. we bottomed out our Chevy Cruze

hiking
21 days ago

On July 13, 2018 ( a humid day) my family undertook to hike this trail while we visited the area from Missouri. Despite hesitations from my wife and the relative young age of our boys (9 and 7) I remained strong in my conviction to see this place on earth as I have heard it is beautiful. It was as stated by the reviews rugged and steep. To reach the top was work. This was offset by wild blue berry eating along the way. It was all worth it. The view from the top is spectacular. There is a nice view up the gorge and of a few of the distinct area peaks not to mention the scenery is generally great. By the time we were descending the last half mile we were out of water and the troops were decidedly weary. Still this was one of our best family hikes.

Very fun hike. Was a little foggy when we arrived but still worth it. Met a few very cool people on the AT and hiked with them for a few miles.

Loved this hike—quick but strenuous! It’s a steady climb on a well marked trail. It begins to get rocky and requires a slight bit of “climb” on the last stretch. The views at the top are lovely... not as vast as some other hikes I’ve done in the area (looking glass, john’s rock), but beautiful and a great reward for a shorter hike. The 4 vs 5 Star is primarily for the small space at the top. There were quite a few people, we had our dogs, and there was very little room for us to rest and take in the sights. Would definitely do it again!

25 days ago

Loved the challenges this hike presented. The views are worth it.

Beautiful trail but not for the faint of heart!

a beautiful view at the top! would say it's a difficult hike, but doable.

hiking
28 days ago

Great for all ages

hiking
28 days ago

My new favorite hike in the region. I went past the lookout towards the ‘second summit’ and went to rattlesnake as well. It’s a pretty strenuous hike, but it’s absolutely worth it. Especially when you continue on to rattlesnake. (It’s only about .7 mile further.) Don’t let the length of the trail fool you, it might be short, but it’ll kick your butt! Definitely coming back!

Absolutely beautiful!

Hard going down, but worth it all! You can even jump off the first waterfall!

Depending on the way you decide to go on the loop from the crossroads go left for a strenuous stair case going up right beside the whole water fall or go right to climb 3/4 foot high natural staircases. it's a good hike bring plenty of water and be prepared to get exhausted. when you reach the top of the falls you are met with a stunning view of the falls.

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