Explore the most popular forest trails near Linville Falls with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
13 days ago

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, not just Erwin's.

Located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, Linville Falls has a great set of trails. The trails to the Plunge Basin by the river and to the Plunge Basin Overlook are located to the left of (not through) the Visitors Center. At the river you may have to do some wading to get an unobstructed view of the falls while the overlook gives a great side view of the falls. In my opinion, I recommend going to the overlook for the best view of the falls then go back to the Visitors Center, cross the bridge, and take in the other views. To me, the Plunge Basin was not worth the time and effort getting to it and it is somewhat hazardous.

4 1/2 year old loved climbing down and around the rocks going down the mountain to this waterfall and loved it going back up. She said it was her favorite trail. We had our 17 month old son and dog too. Very beautiful falls. Great hike

Another great day with the family. We had an 11, 14 and 15 year old along with my wife and I. Beautiful scenery. It was a little rough on my wife's knees but she thought it was well worth it.

backpacking
1 month ago

This is a very tough trail with multiple steep inclines, two river crossings, and lots of rocks and tree roots along the trail. To complete the trail I highly recommend downloading a map on your phone to use as a GPS because of the trails extremely limited trail signs and I also recommend three full days and two nights to get the most enjoyment from the trail. I completed the loop on 7-14-18 and experienced rain and very wet conditions, also the majority of the trail was very overgrown with lots of fallen trees, briers, and tree limbs across the trail even at some points where you couldn’t see your feet while walking along the trail. Overall this loop features cool views and many neat places to set up camp but I definitely recommend it to experienced hikers as every mile on the Linville Gorge feels like two miles.

Great hike down to the river with gorgeous views of the falls. It can be a bit strenuous if you are out of shape (like me!) but definitely doable. I recommend hiking boots or sturdy shoes because parts of the trail can be quite rocky or muddy (if it’s recently rained). But it is definitely worth it!!

backpacking
1 month ago

Very difficult trail. Tried it as a beginner and it humbled my friends and I very quickly. We encountered terrible weather and we had a very difficult time dealing with the terrain. There are very few flat areas on the trail, it is constant elevation change. I do not recommend if you aren’t a veteran hiker.

Gorgeous! Fun hike. People are leaving trash though... :(

nature trips
1 month ago

Just finished the trail in 3.5 days, 3 nights. The views are amazing, from tops of peaks to the rocky river. Pretty easy to find all the water sources, although a few are a bit of trail in primitive locations. Traveled in mid-Summer (July 4th) so it was very hot, but great to cool down in the Linville River. Highly recommend to those in physical shape, as a few miles were straight up in elevation without any switchbacks. Out of seven of us, only three didn’t feel total exhaustion after the “Shortcut”. Also, almost stepped on a five foot rattle snake that was 6” from the trail, but it definitely let us know it was there with its rattle as we walked up on it. Had to hike around it by bushwhacking for a bit, then got back on trail. That was a healthy dose of reality. Saw a few other backpackers, but overall didn’t see other people all that much.

What an expedition! My son and I did it in two days and it was an amazing experience. Definitely need good map and compass though. Better work out this legs beforehand, the climbs are hellish!

It's tough to rate these trails because it's so subjective according to what each person likes, but I just finished the entire LGT with an extension from Wolf Pit Parking area, all the way out Babel Tower as my endpoint. Starting from Wolf Pit Parking area, down Faulker Flats, cross the river to the MST, then link up to Leadmine trail, then to LGT and finally Babel Tower trail. It was a brutal link up in this June heat (83 today and 2000% humidity). The gnats and ticks were ridiculously thick in the lower section of the gorge all the way to Conley Cove. Plenty of campsites, lots of good water to filer but very slick rocks, tons of downed trees to cross. So, somehow it seems much, much harder than it looks on paper. It's often referred to as 'gorge miles' because its very deceptive until you experience it for yourself. When you're looking at this thing on the map your mind says, 'it just runs flat by the river', but with all the log crossings, high steps and ridiculously slick wet rock it just makes you really work for every mile. Legs feel like someone has taken a baseball bat to them after exiting Babel Tower on my third day. I chose this link up to fish up the river. Very challenging but it will reward you, guaranteed.

hiking
1 month ago

This was honestly just "meh" for me. The east side is pretty nice -- you're up high, with cool rock formations and, at times, good views of the gorge. The west side is pretty boring for the most part -- most of the west side follows the river and is incredibly flat. I was also pretty disappointed by the number of campsites (way too many), and the amount of trash at those campsites -- especially on the west side. It hardly feels like a wilderness area -- it's much more "frontcountry" than backcountry.. Water was plentiful when I went: when you're up on the east side, on the ridge, there are parts where there's not water but it's not too bad. Besides that water is abundant. I'm a young male with average athleticism and the hike was pretty easy for me -- there were definitely hard parts, don't get me wrong, but I finished it in a day and a half (one full day, one night, plus a half day). Use the free map available (for app and for printing) on the linville gorge website. The northern river crossing required a quick swim which I didn't bother to strip down for; there was a rope system that allowed you to pull your pack across over the water. The southern river crossing was an easy walk across a broad section of the river. Very few mosquitoes.

1 month ago

Pine gap is a good trail with about three campsites and a really nice lazy river type swimming hole can’t go wrong for a one or two nighter

beautiful that is all

A really great hike! Beautiful rododendrin(?) plants along the trail. Easy enough to hike all the way to the top and then to the bottom! Would definitely recommend for anyone interested in good views, water, and just good old north carolina topography.

hiking
2 months ago

Amazing hike, did it in two days, with 15 miles the first day and rest the second. Started at 0900 camped around 1700 at a campsite by Cambric Branch on the west side of river. Beautiful views and challenging uphill sections. The route to the Chimneys is brutal if it's sunny and hot out.

First actual trip into the Gorge. My wife and I absolutely loved this little hike. We went after it had rained for a week and couldn't get to the base of the falls, but did get very close. Enjoyed it immensely and will return when it drys up. There are some rocks that should be approached carefully, but definitely doable.

It earns it hard rating but the views are worth it! Not blazed and many fallen trees so stay on path. There are no easy crossings with the spence ridge bridge out and all the rapids, other crossings are not well marked. There are some non-rocky areas for tent camping around Babel Tower and about 4mi in from Pine Gap.

started hiking a bit after sunrise, didnt finish because i needed to be back by sunset. Trail had a lot of fallen trees across it and was kinda overgrown. got lost for a few miles and had to bushwhack back to trail because it isnt marked, probably almost died once or twice. 10/10 would recommend

Lower section of the trail down to the river bank has a few set of stairs and is fairly steep in places but a beautiful hike and with some scrambling on the bank you can make it to the base of the falls.

MUST SEE!! This is a great hike with amazing views. I would rate the last 1/2 mile of the trail on the upper end of the moderate scale due to it being fairly steep. Once at the bottom of the falls there are plenty of boulders to sit on, perfect for chilling out or photo opportunities.

Great hike!! One of my favorites in the area!! Definitely challenging but worth it!

camping
3 months ago

Great hike ... if you can get across the river. When they say swim they mean it. There are times of the year it is impossible to cross because of the flow. Very few water resupply options from the top of Shortoff at the Wolf Pit entrance (the pipe) through to well past Table Rock. Saw more than a few people begging water up top. There is a source if you are desperate past the parking lot a couple hundred yards down the gully to the left of the access up to Table Rock where the trail breaks into two. Not a huge flow, but if you are desperate it works. Wide variety of camp sites. Permits needed on weekends in the summer.

It was a great short hike, a little challenging if you are not in a decent shape. I loved it, the view was very beautiful.
The descent down is great, you can relax near the water and dip your feet it in while listening to the water roar around you. The climb back out of the gorge is a nice little work out.

Beautiful and strenuous hike. Worth every minute. Wear waterproof hiking boots and make sure you have strong traction. About .5 miles into the hike it gets strenuous. Lots of mountain climbing.

backpacking
4 months ago

Best loop in NC!

backpacking
5 months ago

Loved this trail, did it with my girlfriend and dog. We did the trail counterclockwise starting from Wolf Pit Trail Head. The first night we camped right before the Table Rock split off. There are plenty of great campsites and there is a side trail that leads to creek for water. The second night we camped on the east side of the river

You do have to do two river crossings, this first one requires a quick swim, the second one more simple since the water is only ankle high.

The trail west of the river is not the best marked, chances are you will lose it. We climbed out of the gorge at pitch-in, the hiked out was very strenuous, we then walked along the road for about a mile and re-entered the trail at Mountain to Sea.

It's a tough trail, but there are great views and an awesome experience.

Linville Gorge is amazing. It is also unforgiving. Be prepared for some of the most beautiful scenery on the east coast but be prepared to earn those views. My favorite hangout in NC.

Awesome trail, challenging for sure but some really nice spots to relax and camp out. Stopped by the ranger office in Nebo and scooped a map which is a necessity out there. You need a compass and a map and you'll be good. Parked the car and began the trail at Conley Cove until we got to the Linville Gorge Trail. Took that for a while and found a good campsite. Continued the following day and camped around the Brushy Ridge area. Took the trail from Babel Tower out to the 105 dirt road and hiked that back down to the car at Conley Cove. Would definitely recommend this trail.

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