Explore the most popular forest 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.

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

Easy to moderate in my opinion. Hiked a 10 miler (round trip) along the east rim of the Gorge. Went an extra 2 miles after I reached the Shortoff Summit. Probably got close to 1,400 feet in elevation gain, so I was at about 3,100 feet. So many vistas along the way. A lot of views south of Lake James. The views to the west and to the north 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. Might have gone all the way to Table Rock for a 14 mile round trip if not for the heat.

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

camping
12 days 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.

Solid hike - We hiked in 5 miles to the base of the chimneys and hiked out the next day. There are only a few water sources other than at the top so plan ahead.

This trail is by far my very favorite trail that I have hiked in NC. Great views I mean fantastic views of the gorge. Wild blueberries growing along side the trail. Great views of Lake James. Steep incline at first and then it flattens out at the top of the trail. There is a pond and shade at that point. This trail is spectacular in so many ways! My 14 yr old Dixie trekked it with me on her birthday. Happy Trails!

Nice, but a great deal of traffic.

backpacking
1 month ago

The views of St James Lake get better as you go further up the trail. Linville gouge is one of the first protected natural areas in the USA, and you will see why when you reach the top. Happy Hiking and don t forget you water

Nobody has apparently shared anything about this trail- about a solid mile is straight up hill no switchbacks. Based on what is generally rated as “hard” I would rate this as “extra hard”. Views were totally worth it though.

This is a fantastic out-and-back trail that climbs to the top of the south end of Linville Gorge with incredible views of the river below and the Gorge beyond.

One of my favorite hikes ever. Beautiful views of Linville Gorge. One you reach the top it’s an easy hike. Haven’t went all the way to table rock yet but half way

This trail was incredible! The views were amazing throughout the entire hike. Definitely a strenuous workout but well worth it.

hiking
2 months ago

This was a beautiful hike and gave us a great view as we are learning our new home. The only down side was the road there was a bit confusing the first time. Stop and ask any locals you see on your way up... they were very helpful. Follow signs to the picnic area

amazing must see hike. initial ascent is a bit rough with rocky steps but then is an easy flat wandering along the edge of the gorge and through burnt rocky wilderness. went 3.8 miles out, tons of primitive campsites, before the trail began descending to the chimneys (and then back up to table rock)

short, somewhat steep hike to beautiful 360 views of the area.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice hike, but very long and difficult to get to the parking lot. Beautiful views once you get to the top!

Pretty hard hike but the payoff is worth the effort.

love this trail! perfect mix of climbing and level areas. look forward to doing this one again for sure.

Amazing view of the rushing water. Not too hard climbing back out. Long but not too steep

Would like to come back in the Spring or fall and do again. Great views from the ridge lines. Walking poles would be useful.

hiking
2 months ago

Short hike with beautiful views. Family friendly trail.

Views are extraordinary!

This will always be one of my all time favorite trails. I have been hiking it since I was a kid and will always go back. There are some spots that get hairy for small kids, especially past Sitting Bear but my daughter loves it. The views are unbeatable. Love this place!

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