Linville Gorge Trails

Linville Gorge Trails

Here is a list of some of the more popular and longer trails in the Gorge area (although many interconnect to make longer hikes). Be forewarned, the Linville Gorge Wilderness is one of the most remote, rugged wilderness areas in the entire Eastern United States. Trails are marked at the trailhead, but are not signed or blazed once inside the wilderness. Make sure you know how to read a topographical map and use a compass. Some trails include crossings of the Linville River--exercise extreme caution when crossing moving water. Hikers, campers, and rock climbers get lost within this wilderness area annually, and deaths are not uncommon. Contact the U.S. Forest Service office in Marion for maps, permits, information on other trails, and safety details. Permits are required for overnight outings.

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Contact:
phone: 828-652-2144.
Web: http://www.linvillegorge.net/

Linville Gorge Trail: image

11.5 miles ranging from easy to strenuous, well-marked to poorly maintained. Not for beginners! Take your compass and topo map and enjoy riverside hiking through virgin forest in the bottom of the gorge.

Sandy Flats Trail:

A strenuous trail on the west rim of the Linville Gorge. 1.3 mile in length and rather poorly maintained -- be careful!

Babel Tower Trail:

Located on the west rim, this trail has an elevation change of 1000 feet within 1.3 miles.

Cabin Trail:

A strenuous 1-mile descent starting at Forest Service Road 1238. Poorly marked and maintained, so take your map and compass and exercise extra caution.

Cambric Branch Trail:

Accessed from Shortoff Mountain Trail, this 1.2 mile trail descends along a ridgeline into the gorge. Your strenuous exercise is rewarded with good views.

Conley Cove:

This is a popular trail thanks to its more gradual descent into the gorge. It accesses Rock Jock Trail on the way to the gorge floor. A moderate 1.3 mile hike with good views along the way.

Bynum Bluff Trail: image

One mile long, this west rim trail starts out easy but becomes strenuous. A short spur from the main trail leads to great views of the river and gorge.

Devil’s Hole Trail:

This strenuous 1.5 mile trail descends into the gorge and connects with the Linville Gorge Trail. Be careful crossing the river!

East Rim Trails:

Included are Devil’s Hole Trail (1.5 miles); Jonas Ridge Trail (4.4 mile roundtrip); Table Rock Gap Trail (1.6 miles) These and many other Linville Gorge trails interconnect to make trips of varying length.

Pinch In Trail:

The southernmost access trail into the wilderness area, this very steep and rocky trail is a strenuous 1.4 miles that affords good views.

Spence Ridge Trail:

A moderate 1.7 mile descent from the east rim to the gorge floor, this is a well-used access point to the area. Cross the river to connect to the Linville Gorge Trail.

Table Rock Summit Trail:

1.4 miles, moderate. This trail ascends from the Table Rock parking area to the towering, 4,000 foot summit on the rim of the gorge.

Shortoff Mountain Trail:

A moderate 5.2 mile roundtrip starts at the Table Rock parking area. The 2.6 mile trail follows the dramatic edge of the Linville Gorge to Shortoff Mountain, with great views of the gorge, Lake James, and the NC Piedmont.

Hawksbill Trail:

This 1.5 mile moderate roundtrip starts on Forest Service road 210. The short steep hike goes to the top of Hawksbill Mountain.

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