Linville Falls Trail In North Carolina

Here is everything you need to know about the Linville Falls Trail:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: North Carolina
  • Length: 1.2 miles.
  • Type: Hiking.
  • Surface: gravel
  • Managed By: National Park Service
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website:

The Linville Falls Trail, located in the Pisgah National Forest in North Carolina, holds a rich historical significance that dates back centuries. The area surrounding the trail was originally inhabited by Native American tribes, including the Cherokee, who revered the falls as a sacred site. They believed that the falls were a place of spiritual power and used it for various rituals and ceremonies.

In the late 1700s, European settlers began to explore and settle in the region. The Linville Falls area became an important landmark for early pioneers and traders, serving as a natural crossing point along the Linville River. The falls provided a reliable source of water and a picturesque backdrop for the growing community.

During the 19th century, the Linville Falls area witnessed increased industrial activity. The falls were utilized to power various mills, including a grist mill and a sawmill, which played a crucial role in the local economy. The mills harnessed the power of the rushing water to grind grain and saw timber, contributing to the development of the surrounding communities.

In the early 20th century, the Linville Falls Trail began to attract tourists and outdoor enthusiasts who were drawn to the natural beauty of the falls and the surrounding wilderness. The trail was established to provide visitors with access to the falls and the breathtaking views from various vantage points. Over the years, the trail has been improved and maintained, allowing countless visitors to experience the awe-inspiring beauty of Linville Falls and its historical significance.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Linville Falls Visitor Center: This is the starting point for the Linville Falls Trail. It provides parking facilities and information about the trail.

2. Erwins View Trailhead: This access point is located near the visitor center and offers a shorter hike to a viewpoint overlooking the falls.

3. Linville Gorge Wilderness Area: This is another access point for the Linville Falls Trail, located further downstream from the visitor center. It provides a longer and more challenging hike to the falls.

4. Duggers Creek Trailhead: This access point is located on the opposite side of the Linville River from the visitor center. It offers a different perspective of the falls and a less crowded trail.

5. Plunge Basin Overlook: This is a scenic overlook along the trail that provides a view of the plunge basin of Linville Falls. It can be accessed from various points along the trail.

6. Chimney View Overlook: This overlook offers a panoramic view of the Linville Gorge and the surrounding mountains. It is located near the end of the Linville Falls Trail.

7. Linville Gorge Trailhead: This access point is located at the end of the Linville Falls Trail. It connects to the Linville Gorge Trail, which offers further exploration of the area.

Transportation Available

1. Linville Falls Shuttle – Shuttle service providing transportation to and from Linville Falls Trail.
2. Blue Ridge Parkway – Scenic road offering access to Linville Falls Trail and other attractions.
3. Uber – Ride-hailing service available in the area.
4. Lyft – Ride-hailing service providing transportation options near Linville Falls Trail.
5. Local Taxi Services – Various taxi companies offering transportation services in the vicinity of Linville Falls Trail.
6. Rental Car Companies – Multiple rental car agencies providing vehicles for exploring the Linville Falls Trail area.
7. Mountain Area Transportation Authority (MATA) – Public transportation system serving the region, including stops near Linville Falls Trail.
8. Private Tour Companies – Several tour companies offering transportation services and guided tours to Linville Falls Trail.
9. Bike Rentals – Local shops providing bicycle rentals for those who prefer to explore the area on two wheels.
10. Walking – Linville Falls Trail is accessible by foot from nearby accommodations and parking areas.


The amenities available at the Linville Falls Trail include:

1. Restrooms: There are restroom facilities available at the Linville Falls Visitor Center.

2. Parking: There is a parking area near the Linville Falls Visitor Center where visitors can park their vehicles.

3. Camping Sites: There are no camping sites directly at the Linville Falls Trail. However, nearby campgrounds such as Linville Falls Campground and Linville Gorge Wilderness Area offer camping options.

4. Picnic Areas: There are picnic tables and designated picnic areas near the Linville Falls Visitor Center where visitors can enjoy a meal or snack.

5. Visitor Center: The Linville Falls Visitor Center provides information, exhibits, and educational resources about the area.

6. Hiking Trails: The main amenity of the Linville Falls Trail is the hiking trail itself, which offers various viewpoints and scenic spots along the way.

Please note that amenities may be subject to change, so it is always a good idea to check with the park authorities or visitor center for the most up-to-date information before visiting.

Nearby Services

1. Linville Falls Campground – Campground offering tent and RV sites near Linville Falls Trail.
2. Linville Falls Lodge & Cottages – Lodging option with cozy cottages and scenic views of the surrounding mountains.
3. Linville Falls Winery – Winery offering tastings and tours near Linville Falls Trail.
4. Famous Louise’s Rock House Restaurant – Casual dining spot serving American cuisine near Linville Falls Trail.
5. Linville Falls General Store – Convenience store offering snacks, drinks, and basic supplies near Linville Falls Trail.
6. Linville Falls Visitor Center – Information center providing details about the trail and surrounding area.
7. Linville Falls Fire Department – Local fire department providing emergency services near Linville Falls Trail.
8. Linville Falls Medical Center – Medical facility offering emergency medical services near Linville Falls Trail.
9. Linville Falls Post Office – Post office providing mailing and shipping services near Linville Falls Trail.
10. Linville Falls Police Department – Local police department ensuring safety and security near Linville Falls Trail.

Linville Falls Trail Difficulty Notes

The Linville Falls Trail offers a moderate difficulty level, making it suitable for hikers of various skill levels. The trail spans approximately 1.6 miles and features well-maintained paths with clear signage. While there are some steep sections and uneven terrain, the trail is generally accessible and manageable for most hikers. The reward for completing the trail is the breathtaking view of the Linville Falls, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a moderately challenging and rewarding hike.

Features And Attractions

Along the Linville Falls Trail, you can find several scenic views, historical sites, natural landmarks, and more. Here are some notable ones:

1. Linville Falls: The main attraction of the trail, Linville Falls offers breathtaking views of cascading waterfalls. There are multiple viewpoints to enjoy the falls from different angles.

2. Erwins View Trail: This short side trail leads to a stunning overlook that provides panoramic views of Linville Gorge and the surrounding mountains.

3. Plunge Basin Overlook: Another viewpoint along the trail, Plunge Basin Overlook offers a closer look at the powerful waterfall as it plunges into the basin below.

4. Chimney View: This viewpoint provides a unique perspective of the falls, showcasing the rocky cliffs and the chimney-like rock formations.

5. Linville River: The trail follows the Linville River for a portion, allowing hikers to enjoy the peaceful sounds of the flowing water and the beauty of the river.

6. Dugger’s Creek Falls: A short detour from the main trail, Dugger’s Creek Falls is a smaller waterfall that is worth a visit for its serene beauty.

7. Linville Gorge Wilderness: As you hike along the trail, you will be surrounded by the stunning Linville Gorge Wilderness, known as the “Grand Canyon of the East.” The rugged cliffs and deep gorges offer a dramatic backdrop to the trail.

8. Historical Sites: While not directly on the trail, nearby you can find historical sites such as the Linville Falls Visitor Center, which provides information about the area’s history and geology.

These are just a few of the highlights along the Linville Falls Trail. Exploring the area will offer even more opportunities to discover scenic views, historical sites, and natural landmarks.

Usage Guidelines

1. Pets are allowed on the Linville Falls Trail but must be kept on a leash at all times.
2. Camping or overnight stays are not permitted along the trail.
3. Open fires are strictly prohibited.
4. The trail is open year-round, but certain sections may be closed during severe weather conditions or for maintenance.
5. Swimming or wading in the river or waterfalls is not allowed.
6. Littering is strictly prohibited. Please carry out all trash and dispose of it properly.
7. Bicycles, motorized vehicles, and horses are not allowed on the trail.
8. Hunting or trapping is not permitted within the Linville Falls area.
9. Rock climbing or rappelling is not allowed on the cliffs surrounding the falls.
10. Visitors are encouraged to stay on designated trails and not venture off into restricted areas.
11. Fishing is allowed in designated areas with a valid fishing license.
12. Visitors are responsible for their own safety and should exercise caution while hiking, especially near the waterfalls.
13. Commercial activities or organized events require a permit from the park authorities.
14. Alcohol consumption is not allowed on the trail.
15. Visitors are encouraged to respect the natural environment and wildlife, refraining from disturbing or feeding animals.

Seasonal Information

The Linville Falls Trail, located in North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest, offers breathtaking views of one of the most picturesque waterfalls in the region. While the trail is open year-round, there are certain times of the year that are considered the best for visiting.

One of the most popular times to visit the Linville Falls Trail is during the fall season, typically from late September to early November. During this time, the surrounding foliage transforms into a vibrant display of red, orange, and yellow hues, creating a stunning backdrop for the waterfall. The cooler temperatures also make hiking more enjoyable, and the trail is less crowded compared to the summer months. It’s important to note that weekends in October can still be quite busy, so visiting on weekdays may provide a more peaceful experience.

Another great time to visit the Linville Falls Trail is in the spring, from late April to early June. During this time, the trail is adorned with blooming wildflowers, and the waterfall is often more powerful due to the melting snow and spring rains. The weather is generally mild, making it a pleasant time for hiking. However, it’s worth noting that spring can also bring occasional rain showers, so it’s advisable to check the weather forecast and come prepared with appropriate gear.

While the Linville Falls Trail remains open throughout the year, there are some seasonal closures to be aware of. During the winter months, from December to February, the trail can be subject to icy conditions and occasional snowfall. It’s important to exercise caution and wear appropriate footwear if visiting during this time. Additionally, some sections of the trail may be temporarily closed for maintenance or repairs, so it’s advisable to check with the park authorities or visitor center for any updates before planning your visit.

Overall, the best times to visit the Linville Falls Trail are during the fall and spring seasons when the weather is pleasant, and the natural surroundings offer stunning displays of color and beauty. However, regardless of the season, the trail promises a memorable experience with its awe-inspiring waterfall and the tranquility of the surrounding forest.


1. Paved Path: The trail features a paved path that allows wheelchair users to navigate easily and comfortably.
2. Accessible Parking: Designated accessible parking spaces are available near the trailhead for individuals with disabilities.
3. Accessible Restrooms: Wheelchair-accessible restrooms are provided at the trailhead for convenience.
4. Handrails: Sturdy handrails are installed along certain sections of the trail to assist individuals with mobility challenges.
5. Benches: Benches are strategically placed along the trail, providing resting spots for wheelchair users.
6. Braille Signage: Informational signs along the trail include Braille, ensuring accessibility for visually impaired individuals.
7. Assistance Animals: Service animals are permitted on the trail to assist individuals with disabilities.
8. Accessible Viewing Areas: Scenic viewpoints along the trail are designed to be accessible, allowing wheelchair users to enjoy the beautiful sights.
9. Accessible Visitor Center: The nearby visitor center is equipped with ramps, elevators, and other ADA accommodations for individuals with disabilities.
10. Trail Maps: Accessible trail maps are available at the visitor center, providing detailed information for wheelchair users and others with disabilities.

Safety Information

1. Stay on designated trails: Stick to the marked paths to avoid getting lost or encountering hazardous areas.
2. Wear appropriate footwear: Use sturdy shoes with good traction to prevent slips and falls on the rocky terrain.
3. Carry enough water: Ensure you have an adequate supply of water to stay hydrated during the hike.
4. Be cautious near the falls: Exercise caution near the waterfall as the rocks can be slippery and dangerous.
5. Keep a safe distance from the edge: Avoid getting too close to the cliff edges to prevent accidental falls.
6. Watch out for wildlife: Be aware of your surroundings and respect the wildlife by observing from a safe distance.
7. Check weather conditions: Before starting the hike, check the weather forecast and avoid the trail during severe weather conditions.
8. Hike with a buddy: It’s recommended to hike with a partner for safety and assistance if needed.
9. Carry a map or guide: Have a trail map or guidebook to navigate the trail and avoid getting lost.
10. Inform someone of your plans: Let someone know about your hiking plans, including the expected duration, in case of emergencies.

Conservation Notes

The Linville Falls Trail, located in North Carolina, holds a significant conservation status due to its ecological importance and the efforts made to preserve its natural resources. The trail is situated within the Linville Gorge Wilderness, which is designated as a federally protected area. This designation ensures that the trail and its surrounding environment are safeguarded from human disturbances and development.

The conservation status of the Linville Falls Trail is primarily focused on preserving the diverse flora and fauna found within the area. The trail passes through a variety of ecosystems, including lush forests, rocky cliffs, and pristine waterways. These habitats provide a home to numerous plant and animal species, some of which are rare or endangered. Conservation efforts aim to protect these species and their habitats by minimizing human impact and maintaining the trail’s natural integrity.

To ensure the conservation of the Linville Falls Trail, various measures have been implemented. These include strict regulations on camping, hunting, and fishing within the wilderness area. Additionally, visitors are encouraged to follow Leave No Trace principles, which emphasize minimizing their impact on the environment. Educational programs and signage along the trail also raise awareness about the importance of conservation and the need to preserve this unique natural area for future generations. Overall, the conservation status of the Linville Falls Trail reflects a commitment to maintaining the ecological balance and preserving the natural beauty of this remarkable wilderness area.

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