May 29, 2000 Linville Gorge and Falls

North Carolina.

Up early and walked to a few blocks in downtown Asheville to a country breakfast at the Met Cafe. We then made the hour drive NE from Asheville to the Pisgah National Forest and Linville Falls Recreation Area. Hosting 50,000 visitors annually, Linville Falls is probably the most famous waterfall in the Blue Ridge.

Click on thumbnails for larger view:
A very nice couple working in the Information Center told us Wiseman's View was the "purttiest place we'd ever see" and insisted we drive the 3 miles on dirt road to see it. They were right - it was worth the drive.

Wisemans View is a scenic observation area offering outstanding views of Linville Gorge, Table Rock, Hawksbill and Shortoff Mountains.

Because of the rough road, not many tourists venture this far into the forest. The reward was well worth the effort.

Hawksbill Mountain. There is a parking area and a handicapped-accessable paved trail down to the overlooks.

The customary couple shot.

Other than Fall, this had to be the perfect time to be here. Perfect temperatures and mountain laurel, azalea and rhododendrons in bloom.

There's one in every crowd.

In 1952, John D. Rockefeller donated the cascade tract to the National Park Service. The 440-acre recreation area offers picnic sites, small bookstore, and a park service campground with a camp store.

Taken from the Plunge Basin Trail. This overlook is a rocky platform jutting out from the hillside - like balcony seats at a performance.

Linville Falls is a double cascade with a vanishing act between the two falls. The upper falls is wide and gentle, pouring over several shelves for a total of fifteen feet.

Suddenly, the river disappears into a narow, quartzite channel. Out of sight, it dives sixty feet through a winding chamber before reappearing as the lower falls, a thunderous forty-five foot drop.

The Linville Falls Trail is the most popular route to view the falls. There are four overlooks along the rim of the gorge that present a variety of perspectives. This is from the the Chimney View.

The Linville River originates near the Blue Ridge Parkway and a few miles later plunges 85 feet over Linville Falls into the extremely rugged Linville Gorge. The river flows through the Linville Gorge Wilderness for 17 miles, during which it drops 1,880 feet and offers one of the most difficult stretches of whitewater in the eastern United States.

Erwins View.

From here we hopped on the Blue Ridge Parkway and headed to Mount Mitchell, the highest point in North Carolina. (pictures later). Then back to Asheville. Stopped at a hippy-fied pizza restaurant, Mellow Mushroom, and had an excellent pizza made with "wheat flour and wheat germ".

email me: backpackingtexan at yahoo dot kom

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