Table Rock and The Chimneys from Spence Ridge

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Linville Gorge Wilderness

Table Rock and The Chimneys from Spence Ridge is a 5.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Morganton, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until September.

Distance: 5.6 miles Elevation Gain: 1,515 feet Route Type: Loop

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

hiking
15 hours ago

Great hike. Fairly difficult in the first part of the hike due to walking up mountain about 20-25 min. Wildflowers are throughout the trail and very beautiful. If you bring food recommend stopping at the chimneys to take a break and see the views

hiking
1 day ago

W1.

hiking
22 days ago

Great hike with family although we had to cut it short due to time frame we needed to get back so will have to plan again accordingly. Beautiful views and even our great Dane was having a good time!

I did the Table Rock trail (which is the clockwise) there was a good distance of incline hill good enough to get your heart pumping. Then, tons of rocky and beautiful trail. If you want something challenging, do the Spence Bridge Trail (which is to the right of Table Rock sign). This trail is very steep and narrow path after you pass the 3rd creek. You may bring a dog BUT it's better if the the dog off leash. If your dog pull, I don't recommend bringing your dog, OR you'll end up tripping and fall on your face. Doing clockwise lots of quads and knee exercise. Counterclockwise (which is Spence Bridge) after the 3rd creek is butt, quads, and cardio. It is very very STEEP. Bring hiking poles.

*Hike at Your Own Risk*Currently Closed* Wow. The Chimneys is simply amazing. We started this hike counter clockwise and it was TOUGH. The incline is not for the faint of heart. The hike to Table Rock is rocky after you clear the first steep incline. Coming down from Table Rock you get to a parking lot with restrooms and trash bins. Cross that and continue on to The Chimneys, you’ll be glad you did. Simply breathtaking views to the left and to the right. You can see all the way down to the Linville Gorge. We left the same way we came back. We didn’t do the entire loop.

hiking
1 month ago

PSA: Technically closed on 4/10/20 Stunning! I did counter clockwise, although both ways would be challenging and I think the original route may be more. I liked the idea of going hard first, and being able to stop on the way back, with a quicker finish after table top. As noted, views are stunning and well worth the 50 degree incline (stop as often as you need) on the way up. Once you hit the first campsite, make a left down the small hill, not straight. You’ll pass one or two more campsites on the right but it was hard to tell where the trail went across the creek. Stay mostly straight/right to cross. There was a large tree down across the water to help visualize. Straight up from there! Chimneys were lovely (shame on the woman who was unimpressed) and provided additional hard-ish areas as there is a bit of climbing and maneuvering up and down rocks and inclines. Was really windy and 35 degrees, despite 55 on the forecast. Clear skies and warm sun helped. Prepare accordingly. My black lab and I did about 7mi in total and stopped for a nap and lunch and the top. Perfect day!

hiking
rocky
2 months ago

As other reviewers indicate, the counter clockwise direction is probably the best choice. In this direction you tackle the steepest grade going up, and it is probably 45 to 50 degree grade going up. Views at the top are some of the best I've seen in NC. Truly a 360 degree view and you are higher than most other visible ranges. Well worth the work to get to the top.

hiking
muddy
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

Great hike. Good work out. So peaceful.

hiking
3 months ago

Loved this trail. The views make the climb worth it. Go on a clear day.

hiking
5 months ago

Super interesting trail, gorgeous w amazing views

hiking
8 months ago

Great place to hike for amazing views. You definitely have to work for it. Went counter clockwise for this hike and it was definitely a butt kicker. Really fun day hike.

hiking
9 months ago

Linville Gorge is always nice place to hike. You hike through woods a lot with this route until you get close to table rock or the chimney. Once you get there, you will enjoy the awesome views. The road to spencer ridge trailhead is a gravel road with some corrosion. A lot of 2WD cars make it to trailhead but AWD recommended for days after rain.

hiking
9 months ago

Can anyone indicate what type parking there is at the Spence Ridge trail head?

hiking
10 months ago

Went counter-clockwise starting from Spence ridge-the parking is minimal (6-7 cars max) but this trail head isn't as popular as table rock or hawksbill so you probably won't have trouble parking. The first half mile or so was easy, but then it starts climbing strait uphill for at least a half a mile. This is the hardest part of the hike but it ends at little table rock which can be accessed from side trails. If you keep right at the junction, you continue through the parking lot to the chimneys. Honestly, the chimneys aren’t as impressive (though still cool), so if you have limited time I recommend taking a left at the junction and climbing up to table rock before finishing the loop. Overall, it was a fun trail and recommend doing the loop if you want to add a couple miles onto your hike.

hiking
10 months ago

Fantastic hike. Definitely strenuous with the upward climb. The views at the end are worth every step.

hiking
11 months ago

Great hike! Like another review, the only place that was a little confusing was at the first at the campsite. Otherwise it was well marked. The up is straight up with no switchbacks so is a bit strenuous. The views are worth it though. We did the Chimneys, Table Top, then back down, so entire trail. The other side of the loop isn’t as much of a steep decline as the incline on the way up. Even with several side stops on lookouts, stopping to take pics, admiring views and eating lunch, it’s a fairly quick hike. Easily done during morning hours.

hiking
rocky
11 months ago

hiking
rocky
11 months ago

That was a butt buster. This trail should be rated as hard. Bring enough water. We went counterclockwise and the initial ascent is tough. The views are well worth it though!

hiking
Tue May 14 2019

I hiked Spencer trail to the table rock trail to the Chimney’s, then back to Table Rock and table rock trail to complete the loop. Although the trails are not marked well, I only had to walk around to find the trail once in a campsite (see my recording). Not an easy hike, but well worth the views. I would say the views were comparable to Grandfather mountain. I’ll be back!

Thu Dec 06 2018

This trail should be labeled as hard. If you search table Rock trails in this app, table loop from Spence ridge trail will come up and it is labeled as hard. This trail is the same thing + the extra few mile walk. I assume it is labeled as moderate because the way down is easy and maybe the few extra mile walk is too. Spence ridge has no switch backs and is straight up. I would consider myself someone that's in shape but this was tough for me. My boxer/lab mix loved it though. I will be back.

Wed Oct 10 2018

the gravel road to get to the trail head is really long. the trail itself is well defined though I didn't see many blazes the first half. passed several campsites early on after that its pretty strenuous and mostly uphill. second half is nearly all downhill. bring water! several places to take in veiws and they are worth it! went on a Wednesday morning and there was very light traffic. several trails connect to this one and I could hear people on those but never saw them.

hiking
Thu Jul 19 2018

My husband and I just did this trail and had a lot of fun. I agree with other reviewers that the first half of the trail is hard and labeling the trail as moderate could be misleading. The trail goes straight up for the first few miles over roots and rocks and there are no switchbacks. It's pretty tough climbing. The trip down is much easier and may be why the loop is labeled as moderate. Be aware though, the first part is not easy by any means but the views are worth it. We didn't go all the way to the Chimneys, instead we turned around about halfway down that section and hiked up to the top of Table Rock for a spectacular view.

hiking
Sun Jul 15 2018

At least 3 mile drive in on rutty gravel road to reach trailhead, and half of the trail is closer to “hard” than “moderate”, otherwise would give it a five. Beautiful overlooks, but quite rocky, rooty and downed trees on trail

backpacking
Wed Jun 13 2018

Nice, but a great deal of traffic.

hiking
Tue Mar 13 2018

One of the best hikes I have done in recent memory. Incredible views, varied terrain, well maintained trail and pristine wilderness. The first part of the trail up table mountain is strenuous I would say, not moderate. But we loved that. The “back” portion of the loop is easier and so the whole trail could be out and back to make the ascent slightly less challenging. Hiked with a 25 lb bag a medium sized dog and a pint sized hiking companion in March.

hiking
Tue Jan 16 2018

Fantastic hike with phenomenal views. The first mile is tough with steep inclines, but once past it’s a much easier trek. We went in January with pretty cold temps and some icy patchy. If your looking for a hike with some of the best 360 degree views with rough and unique terrain, then this is your hike!

Mon Jan 08 2018

Hiked it in early January. Really cool trail. We went on a Saturday and didn't run into anyone. Views are awesome throughout the hike. Highly recommended. The first 2 miles is the toughest stretch it's a pretty steep incline but anyone in good condition should be fine.

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