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


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Morganton, North Carolina Map

awesome!!I would do it again!!

14 days ago

Beautiful hike! Worth the trip back up. I loved the stream trickling beside us during most of our hike. The view at the bottom was amazing! We went swimming and our dog had a blast in the river. Bridge was out. Moderate hike!

Nice hike and view.

16 days ago

absolutely beautiful views. Well worth the hike! A must see

18 days ago

Great Hike! My girlfriend and I along with out two pups had a great day on this trail (besides running into a yellow jacket nest). There were a few more folks on the trail than we expected but it was a holiday weekend after all. I would definitely recommend taking a look if you are in the area

19 days ago

Beautiful right before sunset!

Must have hiking boots! Very rocky but amazing views.. super worth it!!

Great hike.. the first 1.4 is hard and rocky. But worth the wonderful views. At the top it is a great walk for about 2 Miles through blueberry bushes and some great places for lunch.

This is such a unique hike! You get good views of Lake James early on and they don’t stop as you reach the top and beyond. Lots of ledges to look out on and plenty of great camping spots along the way and at the top. Not a big time commitment either - Really loved this hike.

1 month ago

Tough hike coming up from the bottom.. Trail is fairly easy to follow going down.(as usual some A'hole stole the trail sign) Once at the bottom there is no obvious or relatively simple access to the river. Been there, done that. Enjoyed Spence Ridge trail much more since there is easy access to the river. Also this would have been a better hike in the fall after the leaves are down.

1 month ago

Was a great hike! And was rewarded with a great swimming spot at the bottom of the hike.

Amazing views! A religious experience and I’m an atheist.

1 month ago

The access road *is* accessible in a sedan. I managed to get a Charger up it, in the rain, with minimal fuss. Just be mindful of the blind corners, as most of the road is only wide enough for one vehicle.

PLENTY of water available from top to bottom this week. Just listen for water (and/or use your topo!) and you’ll find’em.

This is definitely a difficult hike when fully kitted out. I noticed the majority of people were carrying small day packs. Once you hit the switchbacks, you’re committed. The trail is well marked and clear, but definitely sketchy in a few areas and rather strenuous on the way up (and down!). Summer heat/humidity plus thunderstorms made for an interesting (and tedious) ascent.

Definitely doing this one again. I set up camp in a clearing just past the Gully Pipe, my hammock just a few feet from a cliff overlooking the Gorge. Absolutely stunning views at sunset, the sounds of the river almost 1,000 feet below and a gentle breeze made for an incredible site.

All said, an amazing trail and definitely worth doing. Just remember to do your part and LNT while visiting.

The first 1.4 miles is mostly an uphill, rocky climb to the summit. After that, the trail flattens out, but it becomes more overgrown and quite narrow. There are several rock outcroppings after about the 1-mile mark with amazing views of the Gorge and Lake James. There's almost no shading on the trail, so hike early and bring a lot of water, especially in the summer. I hiked after a lot of rain, and there was also quite a bit of water on the trail. Overall, this is a great trail with fantastic views as you climb higher.

1 month ago

1 mile round trip moderate hike with beautiful sites along the way, from views to flowers, and natural beauty everywhere you turn. What an incredible view from the top too, and the scents of flowers fills the air.

1 month ago

On July 13, 2018 ( a humid day) my family undertook to hike this trail while we visited the area from Missouri. Despite hesitations from my wife and the relative young age of our boys (9 and 7) I remained strong in my conviction to see this place on earth as I have heard it is beautiful. It was as stated by the reviews rugged and steep. To reach the top was work. This was offset by wild blue berry eating along the way. It was all worth it. The view from the top is spectacular. There is a nice view up the gorge and of a few of the distinct area peaks not to mention the scenery is generally great. By the time we were descending the last half mile we were out of water and the troops were decidedly weary. Still this was one of our best family hikes.

1 month ago

This was a pretty easy trail to get to the top. We were up and back down to the parking lot in an hour, with a few stops to enjoy the view.

Definitely a tough trail, if you go via Spencer Ridge trail. This loop has white blazes and near the split to Table Rock it's a white plastic circle on the tree.

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.

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

Killer hike. Hiked a 10 miler (round trip) along the east side of the Gorge. Went an extra 2 miles after I reached the Shortoff Summit. Probably got close to 1,400 feet in elevation gain. A lot of views south of Lake James on the way up. The views to the north and to the west were the gifts that kept on giving once the trail flattened out...sick views of Table Rock Mtn and below into the Gorge. Grandfather Mtn was in the back behind Table Rock, and Mt Mitchell was in the distance behind the west ridgeline...couldn't see the top of it.

2 months ago

Attempt number one to summit.... I’ll be back tomorrow.

2 months ago

Fun hike out to a few granite pinnacles. Along the way are numerous overlooks of the gorge, as well as spots for dispersed camping and cliffs with access trails to bolts for rapelling and top roping.

Intense hike! Worth it though.Going In was a breeze, but coming out was murder. The rocks and water are wonderful. Get refreshed before heading out and take your time!

wide, flat, asphalt all purpose trail runs along the river behind the park

Great trail! The first part is rocky and a bit steep but rewarding views at the top! Looks like it has some great camping spots but we just did out & back.

Nice, shady trail with a fun climb toward the end.

Beautiful views of the gorge. Hiked during late winter, so it was quite nippy and icy throughout the hike. During the summer, be sure to stay safe, but if hiking the winter, watch for the ice on the rocks! Fantastic views!

Beautiful views of the surrounding gorge and mountains! Quite an uphill hike while you’re headed to the top, but worth every minute! My only complaint was the lack of markers on the trail! Looking forward to going back to camp!

45 minutes in, 1-1/2 hours out. Beautiful old logging trail gives relatively “easy” access to Linville Gorge. Huge rock at bottom is nice picnic spot.

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