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Linville Falls via Plunge Basin Trail

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Linville Gorge Wilderness

Linville Falls via Plunge Basin Trail is a 1.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Newland, North Carolina that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, 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: 1.7 miles Elevation Gain: 521 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

The trailhead directions on this page are off the Blue Ridge Parkway, which may be closed in the winter. You can get to this trailhead via the other visitors center nearby as well.

hiking
muddy
rocky
2 days ago

Awesome trail. I preferred the left fork which went down to the base of the falls. Started at 8:30am and the trail was pretty quiet

hiking
rocky
4 days ago

Go right at the fork for a pretty easy trip that is well manicured and offers a view of the falls from above. Left if the fork is much steeper and rockier... might be difficult for people who have less mobility or young children, but the payoff is amazing! You can really feel the poser of the falls.

hiking
rocky
10 days ago

A challenge but definitely worth every step.

14 days ago

The signage is AWFUL! we wanted the basin for swimming and took 2 wrong trails trying to find it. it was worth the hike which was difficult, not for small children.

hiking
15 days ago

Nothing short of amazing. Trail is a bit of a scramble in spots, but definitely worth the effort.

hiking
muddy
scramble
25 days ago

This is a tough trail. The reward is worth the effort. Especially to get away from the heavy crowds on the other trail starting here.

hiking
26 days ago

Worth the hike. Beautiful falls and relatively empty trail. Go early, as the viewing area is small.

hiking
27 days ago

Beautiful. Easily traversed the steepness with my kids. Worth every step.

hiking
29 days ago

SO much better than the more popular Linville falls trails. It was 5 times as difficult but so worth it. The views were better and you were able to get close to the waterfall. Do this one instead of the more popular one if you are looking for a real hike. We wished someone had told us this before we wasted our time on the more “popular” one which was incredibly crowded.

29 days ago

Gorgeous area, mountain laurels in bloom all over the hillsides. Rhododendron thickets and azaleas in bloom. We took the trail down to the basin to swim, the falls were powerful and too rough to swim near (we've had many rain showers in the area recently) but the stream was cute and full of small fishes. There are plenty of large rocks to sit and sunbathe upon. Went on a sunday, we passed many people on the trail. The descent to the falls isn't too far but very steep in places. Bathrooms were closed but portapotties were available at the trailhead. May be difficult taking young children down to the falls. Areas are rocky, rooted, and wet. At the fork in the trail, head left-up to get down to the basin, the falls overlook is straight ahead.

hiking
rocky
scramble
washed out
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Steep and rocky, but not far. 2 old fogeys did ok helping each other

hiking
muddy
rocky
1 month ago

Yes, you will need to watch your step along the way. The first part of the trail is flat, and broad and easy, then it turns downhill, and you will contend with roots and rocks along some fairly steep bits. But if you take your time, you will be rewarded with some amazing views. We are in our early 60's and made it with no difficulty. Our only disappointment was that the river was so high as a result of recent rains, that we were not able to get as close to the falls as we might have liked.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome views. The trail down to the falls is a little tough. Very narrow and rocky. Will return!

hiking
2 months ago

Epic jump/swim spot! Main falls river left 50ftish or the long 25-30ft cliff line right across the main pool. Epic!

hiking
3 months ago

Check out the overlook first and then navigate down to the basin. The hike to the basin isn’t very long but it is pretty narrow and steep in some parts. It’s nothing crazy, but just keep it in mind if your older or are bringing small children or dogs. The trip up is actually easier than the hike down in my opinion. Anyway, it’s totally worth the trip. The falls are awesome. The overlooks via the Erwin trail are very nice and worth the easy walk to them, but the basin is definitely the best view on the falls.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

Stellar proximal views of Linville Falls. The trail gets more wet the closer to the river you get, so expect some muddiness. Will require some rock scrambling to get closer to the falls at the base of the gorge.

hiking
rocky
scramble
snow
4 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

Don't miss this trail in addition to the other Linville Visitor Center options! The descent down into the gorge is rocky and can be slick on rainy days. The trail narrows as it descends. Getting right next to the falls after emerging into the gorge involves a little bit of rock hopping, but nothing too involved. Highly recommend.

hiking
rocky
scramble
6 months ago

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