Monday, July 9, 2007

Linville Falls, North Carolina

Linville Falls National Park is easily accessible via the Blue Ridge Parkway at mile post 316.3. There are clearly marked trails just beyond the visitors center and over the footbridge that crosses the Linville River.

The Ervin Trail runs parallel to the river and is quite easy as the elevation actually dips and is 1.6 miles round trip. Here, the Linville River spills over the upper falls where it widens and pauses. Drifting into a narrow canyon, the water suddenly spirals out of sight and plunges 45 feet over the lower falls.

The Chimney View Trail, 0.7 mile from the visitor center, is the first point on the trail where the lower falls can be seen. The trail continues up to the overlook and is fairly steep and is rated strenuous - I would rate it closer to moderate.

Be forewarned: if you have an aversion to steps, you may not enjoy this trail.

The various trails take you to different perspective views of the same 90-foot Linville Falls. They are all worth checking out especially if you have a camera. Hey, you are already there, why not?

Linville Falls park is a lovely 1 to 2 hour diversion with spectacular views of a roaring water 90-foot fall. It is a great place to stretch your legs after driving on the Parkway for a while. Hiking boots and a camera are strongly recommended.

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