Put Linville Falls on your next hiking trip
It's been about two years since my last visit to Linville Falls and I've really missed it. It's often featured in many publications where there is a reference to North Carolina waterfalls. As you can see in the photos that follow, it's very understandable. It's simply gorgeous.
To find Linville Falls, go to Milepost 316.5 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is about a mile north of US221. There are two primary hiking trails from the Visitor Center. If you take the trail to the right it will take you up to a few overlooks. The first is an overlook from the top of the waterfall. Interesting but not really photogenic. Up the hill a bit further is Erwins View, about .90 miles from the Visitor Center and is a steady moderate hike. From Erwins View, you can see Linville Falls from quite a distance. In my opinion, it's not the best photo opportunity but provides a great view of the Linville Gorge.
The best views of the falls are by taking the hiking trails to the left of the Visitors Center; the Plunge Basin Overlook or the Plunge Basin Trail. The Plunge Basin Overlook hike is just under 0.6 miles and is a moderately easy hike. The photos below was taken from the overlook while the Carolina Rhododendrons were in bloom.
The Plunge Basin Trail veers off to the left at about 0.3 miles and is a fairly difficult hike with steep grades with lots of roots and rocks. An ankle buster for sure. But if you're careful, it should not present a problem to the physically fit. Once at the bottom, head to the right to get great views of the falls. Getting close to the base of the falls can be a bit of challenge requiring crawling on rocks and using fallen logs as a footbridge. During high water, do not attempt getting close to the base. Swift currents could easily drag you downstream from the extremely slippery rocks. On this visit, I also had to be careful going across uneven rocks with lots of loose slippery sand on them.
On this recent visit we were greeted with the trifecta of perfect conditions, i.e., cloudy skies, calm winds and no people. It doesn't get much better. There are many interesting photo compositions possible of the falls from down in the gorge. Here are a few of my favorite photos from my visit. My plan is to go back in autumn if I can time the changing leaves correctly.
But if you have never seen Linville Falls, it's one to definitely put on your waterfall hiking list. You'll love it.
If you enjoy fishing, this a great place to fish. My hiking partner brought along his fishing pole and some worms. When he was done shooting he fished and in just a little while had caught 16 of different varieties including a nice trout.
Keywords: blue, blue ridge mountains, caroline, falls, forest, gorge, landscape, linville, long exposure, nature, north, parkway, ridge, river, rocks, trees, waterfall
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