The Linville Gorge is one of Eastern America’s most scenic destinations. Named for William Linville, a local explorer, the 12,000 acre Linville Gorge Wilderness Area and its virgin forests are part of the Pisgah National Forest. Some of western North Carolina’s most remarkable landmarks reside in the gorge, including Linville Falls, Table Rock Mountain, Shortoff and Hawksbill Mountains, the Chimneys and Sitting Bear. The views of and from these mountains are breathtaking. Hiking, mountain biking and rock climbing in the gorge can be challenging since elevations range from 1,300 feet on the Linville River to 4,120 feet on Gingercake Mountain. 39 miles of trails weave throughout Linville Gorge and make for a variety of adventures like backpacking and camping. The Linville River runs for 12 miles through through the bottom of Linville Gorge. Linville Falls, located on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Milepost 316.4 (about 66 miles north of Asheville) drops 90 feet into the Linville Gorge. The Linville Falls Recreation area provides opportunities to fish, swim, picnic, hike and enjoy the outdoors. Wiseman’s View, an outcropping of rock on the western side of the gorge, provides magnificent views of Table Rock and Hawksbill Mountains. The Forest Service access road is marked where it connects to Highway 183 off of Highway 221 near the town of Linville, North Carolina. While visiting Linville Gorge, a trip to Linville Caverns is a must. As North Carolina’s only caverns, Linville Caverns contains many treasures inside Humpback Mountain that will truly impress. At the base of the gorge sits Lake James, a 6,510-acre lake with more than 150 miles of shoreline. As the center of Lake James State Park, the lake is a great place to boat, swim, water ski, fish, and take in the scenery. Not far from the charming active small towns of Morganton and Marion, Lake James is the ideal place to enjoy outdoor living for all ages. With the Blue Ridge Parkway, Linville Gorge, Linville Falls, Table Rock Mountain and all the majestic surrounding mountains, Burke County offers an abundance of enjoyment and recreation.
Linville Gorge Wilderness Area
Some of western North Carolina’s most remarkable landmarks reside in the gorge, including Linville Falls, Table Rock Mountain, Shortoff and Hawksbill Mountains, the Chimneys and Sitting Bear.