Hiking From the Linville Falls Visitor Center
A view of Linville Falls, North Carolina
Linville Gorge area of North Carolina is a rugged area maintained by the National Park Service and is located off of Milepost 316 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. There are many trails to hike in the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, however only experienced hikers should attempt to hike on most of these trails because of the strenuous nature and ruggedness of the terrain.
Linville Falls Visitor Center
Jonas Ridge, NC 28752
There is a large parking lot next to the Visitor Center for cars and a few spots for RVs, and when capacity is reached, I have seen cars parked along both sides of the road going into this park.
The visitor center offers the history of the area and also has a gift shop. The bathrooms (flush toilets) are located here as well.
There are several hiking trails which you can access from the Visitor Center and there is a large map of all the trails at the front door.
Erwin’s View Trail
Round trip is about 1.6 miles. This trail has four overlooks/views of waterfalls and there is some elevation involved. Wear some sturdy footwear so you can navigate a few rocks and tree roots along the way. Also be prepared to go up and down stone stairs along the way. If you are a beginner hiker and don’t exercise that much, this trail can be a good workout. This is one of the most popular trails and can get very crowded. The number of people on this trail is high because it is the one that all the tourists, as well as beginner and seasoned hikers alike, choose to hike.
The first overlook is about 0.5 miles from the visitor center and here you can see how the Linville River spills over the upper falls. The next overlook is Chimney View which is 0.7 miles from visitor center. This is the first point where the lower falls can be seen. You can photograph both upper and lower falls at this point.
At the Gorge View Overlook, you can see the Linville River meandering through the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area.
At the Erwin’s View Overlook, which is 0.8 miles from the visitor center, you can see a panoramic view of the Linville Gorge and a distant view of the upper and lower falls.
Scenes along the Erwin's View TrailClick thumbnail to view full-size
Dugger's Creek Loop Trail
A very nice and pleasant walk in the woods that offers a few awesome rock formations and a small waterfall along the way. There is a small creek crossing at the end of the trail. This is a short and easy trail that offers serenity and a nice walk in the woods.
Scenes Along the Duggar's TrailClick thumbnail to view full-size
Plunge Basin Overlook
A short hike to an overlook of the Linville Falls, which you can access from the Plunge Basin Trail.
Plunge Basin Trail
About 1.4 miles round trip. This trail will take you all the way to the bottom of the Linville Falls. It is a steep climb down with stone and wood stairs, and then remember you must come back up. I do not consider myself a strong / power hiker, but I did good with this trail. Elevation is about 500. Take your time and enjoy the view going down and then back up, and stop for water breaks as needed. The view is just incredible at the base of this waterfall and is well worth the effort. Keep in mind that swimming in the Linville River and climbing on the rocks is dangerous and not allowed.
Scenes Along the Plunge Basin Trail, Including Base of FallsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Words and photos do not do justice how awesome it is to be at the bottom of the Linville Falls. Following is a good video of what it would be like to hike to the bottom. The video does not cover the elevation and the climbing back up, so keep that in mind.
Hiking on the Plunge Basin Trail to the bottom of Linville Falls
Thank you for reading this article and I hope you will get a chance to visit and hike all the trails at the Linville Falls Visitor Center in beautiful North Carolina.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Michelle Dee