Linville Falls is home to many beautiful, scenic trails. All offer a good hike and most also reward you with a spectacular view. Here are a list of trails in the Linville area:
- Dugger’s Creek Trail
0.3 miles one direction from Vistors’ Center
Dugger’s Creek Trail is one of the area’s best-kept secrets. This trail begins at the opposite end of the parking lot from the Visitors’ Center. As you wind your way through rhododendron and past native galax, pay attention to small placards that offer wonderful quotes from famous authors and naturalists such as Henry David Thoreau. Wander down this beautiful trail and contemplate nature. A small waterfall near the trail’s midpoint adds to the beautiful scenery.
- Plunge Basin Overlook / Linville Gorge Trail
0.5 miles one direction from Visitors’ Center
This trail can be accessed by turning left near the Visitors’ Center and following the trail to the right. After three-tenths of a mile, you will come to a directional sign. Continue straight ahead to the Plunge Basin Overlook for a view of the lower falls. Here the Linville River plunges 60 feet out of a sheer rock face. The overlook here is one hundred feet above the river offering a magnificent view of the entire Linville Gorge and the closest view of the lower falls.The Linville Gorge Trail can also be accessed by turning left at the Visitors’ Center and following the trail to the right. After three-tenths of a mile you will come to a directional sign. Turn left and continue four-tenths of a mile. At this point, the easy trail becomes significantly more strenuous. Footing is often difficult and the terrain is quite steep. As the trail winds into the gorge, you will use a staircase to descend the sheer cliff face. Follow the trail along the base of the cliff. Continue along the trail over rocks and roots to the Linville River that drops 60 feet into a crystal blue pool. Keep your eyes open and you may see the native trout in this cool, clear water.
- Erwin’s View Trail
1 mile one direction from Visitors’ Center
This moderate trail begins at the footbridge behind the Visitors’ Center and offers views of the upper and lower falls as well as Linville Gorge. There are benches located along this trail to rest or simply sit and enjoy your surroundings. Erwin’s View is much easier than either the Plunge Basin Overlook Trail or the Linville Gorge Trail.
View 1. The Upper Falls is 0.5 miles from the Visitor’s Center. Here, the first of the two falls on the river is visible. The river flows into a narrow channel as it prepares to fall into a churning pool before making its final plunge into the gorge below. To access this trail, walk through the Visitors’ Center and over a foot bridge that spans the Linville River. Continue along to the first trail on the left. Turn here and follow the trail down to the river. From this point you can either return to the Visitors’ Center or continue to on the Chimney View Overlook by veering left upon returning to the main trail.
View 2. The Chimney view Overlook is 0.7 miles from the Visitors’ Center, or 0.2 miles from the Upper Falls Trail. From this overlook you will enjoy a breathtaking view of both the upper and lower falls. You can also get an outstanding view of the gorge covered in mountain laurel and beautiful rhododendron bushes. From here you can return 0.7 miles to the visitors’ center, or continue up another 0.1 miles along the main trail to the Erwin’s View and Gorge View Overlooks.
View 3. The Gorge View Overlook is 0.75 miles from the Visitors’ Center and 0.1 miles from the chimney View Overlook. Some believe this to be the most beautiful view in Linville Falls. Here from high above the river ou can view the surrounding peaks as well as the lower falls. You can return to the Visitors’ Center, or continue on to Erwin’s View Overlook.
View 4. The Erwin’s View Overlook is 0.8 miles from the Visitors’ Center and 0.06 miles from the Gorge View Overlook. This Overlook offers a beautiful view of the area. the falls are also visible in the distance. From here, follow the main trail back to the Visitors’ Center.