Linville Falls Hiking

Located just a short drive from Linville, North Carolina, Linville Falls is featured several different drops that begin in a twin set of upper falls before moving down a small gorge, and culminating in a high-volume 45-foot drop. According to, Linville Falls has the highest volume of any waterfall on the Northern Edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Local lore holds that the falls were once used by local Native Americans to execute prisoners. The name of the Linville Gorge and the falls themselves comes from an ill-fated expedition into the gorge by the Linville brothers that ended when two out of three members of the expedition were killed by local Native Americans. Until August of 2010, it was believed that no one had survived a trip down the Linville Falls. However, Pat Keller, of Asheville, changed that when he bombed the three-tiered waterfall in his Dagger kayak and walked away uninjured. The falls is owned by the National Park Service, which operates a visitor center and several miles of non-handicapped accessible trails with 4 overlooks for the falls. The 0.5-mile (0.80 km) Upper Falls trail leads to the top of the falls, where visitors can see the small twin upper falls and the water spiraling through a small canyon on its way to the main falls. The Erwin’s View trail leads to 2 overlooks, the Chimney View overlook (0.7 miles) and Erwin’s View overlook (0.8 miles). The 0.5-mile (0.80 km) Plunge Basin Trail leads to the Plunge Basin Overlook, which provides a view of the falls from the other side of the river. Finally, the 0.7-mile (1.1 km) Gorge Trail, which branches off from the Plunge Basin trail, leads to an area near the foot of the falls. Swimming is prohibited in all areas of Linville Falls, as many deaths have occurred.

Directions from Boone: Take US-321 S/Blowing Rock Rd. Continue to follow US-321 S.  Take the exit toward Flat Top Rd. Continue onto Flat Top Rd.  Turn left onto Blue Ridge Parkway. Turn right onto the US-221 ramp to Linville Falls Community. Turn left onto US-221 S.  Turn right onto Warrior Ln.  Destination ahead. 

The Adventure Collective

The Adventure Collective publishes a series of outdoor adventure sports guides to adventures in Asheville, Boone, Brevard, Chattanooga, Charleston and The Great Smoky Mountains.

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