Linville Gorge

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The Linville Gorge Wilderness ("The Grand Canyon of North Carolina") is the third largest wilderness area in North Carolina (Shining Rock Wilderness, Joyce-Kilmer Slickrock Wilderness) and one of only two wilderness gorges in the Southern United States (with Bald River Gorge Wilderness in Tennessee). Maintained by the United States Forest Service, it comprises 11,786 acres (47.7 km²) around the Linville River, and is situated inside the Pisgah National Forest. The river is approximately 1,400 feet (400 m) below the ridge, thus hiking in and out of the Gorge is challenging and enjoyable for those who like serious hiking. The plant and animal community is extremely diverse, with a dense hardwood/pine forest and a wide variety of smaller trees and other plants as well as bear, fox, raccoon, trout, grouse, wild turkey, vultures, owls, hawks, copperheads, and timber rattlesnakes.

Popular tourist attractions in or near the Wilderness are:

  • Linville Falls, a waterfall fed by the River and free for the public
  • Wiseman's view, a rock outcrop near the center of the gorge that gives an excellent view of the interior of the gorge.
  • Linville Caverns, a privately maintained cave accessible by automobile from U.S. Route 221.

Hike Reports

List of available hike reports