Pine Gap and Bynum Bluff Trail

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Linville Gorge Wilderness

Pine Gap and Bynum Bluff Trail is a 2.8 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Pineola, North Carolina that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, nature trips, and fishing. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 2.8 miles Elevation Gain: 767 feet Route Type: Loop

dogs on leash

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

forest

river

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

over grown

rocky

First half of this trail was five stars and challenging second half was zero stars due to the rest of the hike was on Kistler Memorial Highway. Would recommend an out to the falls and back the way you came instead. Poles highly recommended.

Such a great trail. Wasn’t successful in finding bluff trail, but it turned into a great hike anyway. Snakes on the trail, not too many people and very peaceful by the water.

Great rocky descent down to the river (Pine Gap); trail was a little tricky in some places with a few downed trees and small streams/slippery spots but nothing too bad! Once you reach the river there are some nice rocks to sit on and eat lunch. The trail that connects you to Bynum Bluff was a little harder to find, so Alltrails pro was helpful for staying on track. Hang left to go down Bynum Bluff trail to the river; pretty easy trail going down and the rhododendron make a nice tunnel that's really pretty. But coming back up Bynum Bluff was a looong ascent (my dad and I took a couple breaks on the way back up). There aren't any spectacular overlooks on this loop, which is a little disappointing, but it's still really pretty regardless. At the end of Bynum Bluff follow the road (approx. 0.5 miles) back to the beginning of Pine Gap where you parked.

hiking
4 months ago

Fantastic winter hike with extraordinary views. If going when temps are below freezing, recommend taking some cleats as the water run-off makes the trail treacherous in a number of locations on the Pine Gap Trail. I highly recommend NOT skipping the Bynum Bluff portion as the river and bluff view are outstanding. Make sure you take the middle trail at the Bluff/ Gap fork on the return from the bluff or you will be in for a far longer hike. There are great views of Table Rock and Hawk's Bill Mtn's on the return to the forest road but these may not be present in the summer. Overall this rank's up there for one of the best short hikes in the area with a great return on stunning scenery and not being too strenuous. You do, however, go from top to bottom two times. There are quite a few great looking camping spots, as well. This hike could easily be extended, if you desire a longer hike. It took me about 1 1/2 hours.

hiking
9 months ago

Another hike down into the Linvile Gorge. Any hike that has the easy part first is overall harder. It is pretty steep in a few places coming out. There's some descent views of the river on the way down, too.

Only did Pine Gap and a little more, but great river views. Rocky descend start (meaning uphill end) but great leg day. :)

I loved this trail. Hard to keep track of it sometimes but lots to see. The beginning has beautiful foliage ‘caves’, rocks, roots and all kinds of steep spots to test your footwork. Great fun. Beautiful river.

hiking
Tue Aug 21 2018

I hiked this with my 16 YO daughter. Uneven rocks and roots, steep-ish going in some places, complicated by muddy spots (it was raining this weekend.) Hiking poles are your friend with this first part of the trail, and other spots further on. Took it to the river, then continued along the river trail over the ridge to more spots along the river. There's a waterfall where we turned around, and just above it a large cleared area that's obviously over used for camping. Sadly found lots of garbage at the river, we packed out plastic bottles and other garbage. Why do people feel the need to tag the rocks along the river? On our way back up we checked out Bluff Trail, but came back to Pine Gap Trail, and back up to the car at the trailhead. Met several folks on the trail, a few headed in with packs, some day hikers. Nice trail, I'd assume typical summertime crowds. Will return to the area when the weather gets a little colder.

backpacking
Tue Nov 14 2017

Nice trail. Anyone in moderate shape can do it but you must have confident footing. The trail is much deeper coming up that it is going down and it can get muddy, but worth the effort. Several nice camping spots along the river and along the bluff trail.

camping
Thu Jul 06 2017

Beautiful trail that presents a pretty good challenge, especially for backpackers.

hiking
Fri May 26 2017

If you start this loop at the Bynum trailhead, it might be easier coming back to the car (see my recording). In any way to do the full loop you need to walk on the road 0.6 miles, which is OK after a rain, but it will be very dusty otherwise. Explore also along the river.

Sat Mar 18 2017

nice short trail some cool camping spots on the bluff trail . the pine gap part of this trail is challenging. when you start on pine gap the trail it will meet with. bluff trail out in the woods bluff trail leads you back to the road where it's trail head starts . when I get there I walk back down the road where pine gap trail head is which is where I park . so with that said the trail doesn't exactly loop . it brings you back to road from each trail head the two trails just meet each othere out in the woods they dead end into each othere. hope I explained that right and I didn't confuse anyone.

hiking
Sun Feb 05 2017

It was a great hike with my wife. A little narrow in some spots and ice build up on the rocks. Other than that it had good footing. Recommend good hiking sneaker/shoes for traction.

hiking
Mon Oct 24 2016

This is a nice trail. It is much less trafficked then linville which is just down the dirt road. During our hike we saw 3 people on this trail. The trail ends at the river and is a neat area to explore.

hiking
Mon Sep 14 2015

Great little hike. Only hiked Pine Gap down to the water to camp. Honestly, the map provided by the national forestry sites dont give alot of detail. However, you shoot through the Linvile falls Trails, on your way back to the parking lot, veer left towards the gravel parking lot. Once there, make a left down the dirt road. You will pass 1 information center/booth with bathrooms on your rightabout .5 miles down. After the info book, go another .5 miles down and the Pine Gap Trailhead will be on your left-hand side. It may be easy to find for most but since this was our first time out, we had a hard time reading the map. Hope this helps on the next couple. Camping right on the water was an absolute joy.

hiking
Thu Dec 11 2014

Great 2 hour hike! Recently maintained by Friends of Linville Gorge and well marked.

hiking
Fri Nov 07 2014

Great loop trail! Make sure to go down to the river too!

hiking
Mon Oct 14 2013

Great hike down to the river. Fairly primitive trail but all my kids made it down and back! (Ages 13, 9 and 6).

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

backpacking
8 months ago

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8 months ago

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