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Linville Falls


Linville Falls is probably the most famous waterfall in the Blue Ridge. The trails include four overlooks to the waterfalls. Trails lead to the breathtaking three-tiered Linville Falls over the Linville Gorge. Please note that swimming in the Linville River and climbing on the rocks is dangerous and therefore, prohibited.

Two main hiking trails begin near the Linville Falls Visitor Center and lead to views of Linville falls. Both pass through remnants of a virgin hemlock forest mixed with other familiar tree species such as white pine, oaks, hickory, and birch. A colorful and varied display of wildflowers decorates the trails in spring. Red and golden leaves in fall beautifully contrast with the soothing green of hemlocks. The Linville Falls trails range in difficulty from moderate to strenuous.

The Erwins View Trail is a moderate 1.6-mile round-trip walk, offering hikers four overlooks. Each reveals a different aspect of the Linville Falls area. Linville Gorge Trail and Plunge Basin are 1.4 mile round trip and 1 mile round trip, respectively. Both start at the visitor center. The trail to Linville Gorge forks 0.2 miles from the visitor center. The right fork takes hikers to Plunge Basin Overlook where they can view the lower falls and the Chimneys. The left fork winds down through rock cliffs to the bottom of the falls where the force of the water cascading over the falls creates a large pool. Both of these trails are strenuous.

Linville Falls Visitor Center, at Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 316.4, hosts 350,000 visitors annually. It is a log cabin-style building with a small gift shop and public restrooms.

, Visit North Carolina
, National Park Service

A 52 Weeks of Fun Fascinating Fact about Linville Falls

The steep-walled Linville Gorge is known as the “Grand Canyon of the Southern Appalachians.”

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