Linville Falls

Linville Falls
Linville Falls is a parkway recreation area along the Blue Ridge Parkway at mile marker 316.4.  The park is in Burke County near the town of Linville and about 30 minutes from Boone.  The park is managed by the National Park Service.  Linville Falls is named for the Linville River, which flows over the falls and into the Linville Gorge.

Contact Information:

214 Parkway Maintenance Road
Spruce Pine NC 28777

Phone: (828)765-7818

GPS Coordinates: 35.94889, -81.92694

Directions:

Linville Falls is directly off the Blue Ridge Parkway, about 25 miles south of Boone and 65 miles north of Asheville, at mile marker 316.4.  Alternately, the park can be reached through a parking area in the Linville Gorge Wilderness area of Pisgah National Forest.  Use the map below to generate customized directions.

Map:


Linville Falls

Trails:

The Linville Falls area has three trails that provide access to waterfall views and the gorge.  The trails range from easy to strenuous in difficulty and all are accessed from the Visitor Center.

Duggers Creek Trail:

This easy trail leads from the Visitor Center to Duggers Creek.  A footbridge leads over the creek just downstream of the waterfall.

Erwins View Trail:

Erwins View Trail is the longest trail in the park, with a round trip being 1.6 miles.  It also packs a lot of scenic overlook bang for your hiking buck.  The trail starts at the Visitor Center and crosses Linville River on a large bridge, following the river downstream.  At half a mile, a short spur trail leads to the first overlook, Upper Falls Overlook.  At 0.7 miles is a turn for the Chimney View Overlook and the trail ends at Erwins View at 0.8 miles from the Visitor Center.

Plunge Basin/Linville Gorge Trail:

The Plunge Basin Trail leads from the visitor to the north side of Linville Falls.  Shortly into the trail, it splits with one branch going to the Plunge Basin Overlook and the other leading down into Linville Gorge.  This is the most strenuous trail in the park with a steep descent to the gorge. At river level, head upstream to the base of the waterfall.

Forest Service Spur Trail:

Length: 0.4 miles (one way)

This half-mile trail leads from the Forest Service parking area in Linville Gorge Wilderness to the Linville Falls Trail right at the Upper Falls Overlook.

Waterfalls:

Linville Falls, obviously is the main attraction in the area.  It is somewhat unique in that there are multiple spots to view the falls from with 5 different overlooks, listed below.  All are easily accessible from the park's trail system.

Chimneys Overlook:

Duggers Creek Falls:

Erwins View Overlook:

Gorge View Overlook

Gorge View Overlook is near Erwins View Overlook, but does not provide a view of Linville Falls.  Rather, this overlook faces Linville Gorge downstream of the falls.

Linville Gorge

Plunge Basin Overlook

Upper Falls Overlook

The Upper Falls Overlook provides views of the twin upper falls that are just upstream of the main waterfall.  The Linville River plunges over two small twin cascades and is channeled around the rock outcrop, which makes the overlook, and then snakes around a narrow gorge before plunging down the falls.  This overlook is the only spot to see the top of the falls.  The overlook is about a half-mile from the Visitor Center along the Linville Falls Trail, followed by a 500-foot spur trail to the overlook.  Alternately, if coming from the Forest Service parking area, follow the spur trail to the Linville Gorge Trail right at the shorter spur trail to the overlook.

External Links:

Blue Ridge Parkway on the National Parks Service website: http://www.nps.gov/blri

Reservations for Camping: http://www.recreation.gov/campgroundDetails.do?contractCode=NRSO&parkId=74042

Photos:


Linville Falls