Linn Cove Viaduct Via Tanawha Trail

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Blue Ridge Parkway

Linn Cove Viaduct Via Tanawha Trail is a 0.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Linville, North Carolina that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 0.8 miles Elevation Gain: 111 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

partially paved

views

waterfall

wild flowers

rocky

Linn Cove Viaduct on the Tanawha Trail is located near Grandfather, North Carolina. The trail is great for hiking and normally takes 1-3 hours. This small section is part of the Tanawha Trail which is 13.5 miles long in total distance winding along the Blue Ridge Parkway mountains Travel through the parking lot to the trail head which takes you on a nice pleasant walk under the viaduct where you can gaze at the amazing modern marvel of construction and hear the many cars traveling overhead. This very short hike is about 900 feet. Continue up the wooden stairs as the trail winds up and down through a maze of rocks, boulders, and rock staircases. Along the trail there is a bridge where Wilson's Creek runs under and a pretty waterfall to see.  As you near the end of the viaduct about an hour later there is a fork in the road; take the fork with the red ribbon to the right. The trail going straight continues as part of the Tanawha Trail. The red ribbon indicates you have made it to one of the most distinctive picture taking points of the Blue Ridge Parkway. You have seen this vantage point in many pictures and magazines about the Blue Ridge Parkway Not only will you be elevated above the parkway but above the viaduct watching cars come around the bend as they travel over the viaduct.

hiking
10 days ago

We started this hike at the overlook just south of the main section of the viaduct (basically at the end of the trail as mapped here). The few yards of trail around the viaduct is rocky and not well marked, though fairly easy to find and follow. Once you hit the observation spot under the viaduct, the path is paved and a gentle walk to the visitor center. Great way to see the construction up close.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Husband and I hiked this trail today. Started at Beacon Heights parking area up to top of beacon heights .20 mile...Gorgeous views at top well worth the hike. Halfway down beacon heights trail is junction to Linn Cove trail and Price lake trail. We hiked the 1.5 miles to stack rock and the viaduct. very rocky and lots of roots but that said an ok trail for most novice hikers. Moderate rating because of rocky and sometimes uphill terrain.

hiking
muddy
off trail
rocky
6 months ago

Wow hiking over the rough ridge today holy crap I long hiking we are tried

Nice short hike through some beautiful scenery and overlook of the parkway!

hiking
7 months ago

Amazing views..we got lucky had a clear sky this year...

hiking
8 months ago

That’s not even a trail. Paved sidewalk.

hiking
9 months ago

Light trail, some steps, good for a quick stop on the Parkway

hiking
rocky
10 months ago

I loved this trail. We took it further than intended because the view wasn’t marked really well and you’re in a forest most of the time. The boulders and trees with amazing root systems are prehistoric. I want to go back and take this train all the way to rough ridge and back. It’s a lot of climbing over rocks and up and down, so don’t expect to blaze a fast trail. I took my 7 and 9 year old kids and they did well. Each had a fall but they made it! We did a total of about 3 miles out and back. The views under the viaduct are amazing. I can’t believe the people complaining about lack of views when you’re getting to see the parkway from every angle imaginable. It’s just amazing.

hiking
11 months ago

Nothing to see at the look out. We passed the "view" because it's so underwhelming and walked too far before catching our mistake and going back to the car.

hiking
11 months ago

hike under viaduct from visitor center

hiking
11 months ago

We brought our three kids on this trail and enjoyed it! There are huge rocks and the history of the viaduct is interesting! Highly recommend for kids - there is varied terrain - some rocks, some more narrow paths, some wide, small creeks to step over, and lots of wildflowers.

hiking
11 months ago

Hiked 5 miles out on the Tanawha Trail from Linn Cove to Rough Ridge, and a couple more miles after Rough Ridge. 10 mile round trip. Close to 1500 feet in elevation gain. Nice views at Rough Ridge.

hiking
Fri May 31 2019

Beautiful trails and amazing views! Also a great place to star gaze!

hiking
Wed May 15 2019

I really enjoyed his trail. Lots of rock formations and it’s nice and short. The viaduct is really neat too and the office at the trailhead has restrooms so it was a great stop.

hiking
rocky
Sun Feb 03 2019

Mon Oct 29 2018

exciting

hiking
Tue Oct 23 2018

About a mile and a half round trip from the parking area. Wanted to get that classic shot of Linn Cove snaking around Grandfather Mtn with the Linville Gorge peaks behind it. The foliage is a complete and total bust this year, so my pic isn't classic.

hiking
Mon Oct 22 2018

This trail is climbing intensive with loads of opportunities to veer off and find your own look out! You must go to the end for the best views!

walking
Mon Oct 15 2018

I adore this location! We had Jadie Pup with us and was a great place to let her out to stretch her legs! Kid friendly! Very nice RS with wonderful staff and a National Park Services gift shop! Highly recommend! Might I suggest you read about the viaduct itself! It was featured in Modern Marvels on Discovery Channel!

Sat Sep 01 2018

I been on this trail and love it I go there every summer

Sat Jul 07 2018

Gorgeous! I had no idea this was there- trail is about a mile then you can continue on tawanhana or put a foot on the parkway or return to linn cove parking lot

hiking
Thu May 10 2018

Heading to NC in a few months, I read a posts down that the elevated portion of the trail where most photos are taken was under construction. Can anybody add an update to if that location is open again? Also, is there a shorter path to get to just the photo location?

hiking
Mon Apr 23 2018

This is one of my favorite hikes, I've been on it a couple times! I like how it goes up and then down along the trail. I would recommend this for anyone that wants a cool view of the parkway

hiking
Thu Apr 19 2018

Really enjoy this short trail, the portion that actually runs underneath the Linn Cove Viaduct is awesome! Highly recommend this trail.

hiking
Sun Mar 25 2018

As of 03/25 the portion leading to the viaduct is currently under construction, so no way of getting up to see the views. Otherwise, really nice easy hike. Had fresh fallen snow when I went.

Sun Oct 01 2017

Great fun with my daughter today.

hiking
Sun Oct 01 2017

The view of the viaduct from the trail is OK, but overall there are better spots in the area (Rough Ridge, Beacon heights, Grandfather peaks) in terms of the views of the area. The viaduct itself is impressive for sure.

hiking
Tue Aug 08 2017

There's a side trail about halfway in that you'd have to be in fairly good shape to navigate but leads you to the top of these rocks that overlook the entire viaduct and is phenomenal! One of the best views I've seen on the Parkway

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