The town of Linville Falls, NC is an intersection, really, at Hwy. 221 and Hwy. 183, anchored by Famous Louise's Rock House restaurant. The Linville Gorge is an awesome place to spend a few days. My husband and his friends like to backpack in it for days at a stretch. My brother likes to fly fish for trout in the Linville River, Wilson Creek and South Holston.
But there is something for everyone, including great grandma with her walker or wheelchair and the person with two toddlers and a baby stroller.
chicken pot pie at Spear's Grill
Here are my preferences on what to do in this area........
Cabins: My preference is to stay in the cozy, beautiful cabins at Linville Falls Lodge where you can walk to Famous Louise's for breakfast and walk to Spear's BBQ Grill for Chicken Pot Pie at dinner time. Famous Louise's sits on three county lines. The waitress will take your order in Burke County and pick it up in McDowell.
Camping: Catawba River Campground is excellent, we met the owner and she is a workhorse.
Primitive Camping: Primitive camping is available all along the gravel road (Old NC Hwy. 105) inside the Pisgah Wilderness Area, wherein the Linville Gorge is located.
Things To Do:
1. Wiseman's View – 10 minute drive from the cabins up a gravel road (Old NC Hwy. 105).
- 5 minute moderate walk on paved sidewalk, latrines available.
- Wheelchair accessible.
- Outstanding view of the entire gorge.
- Best spot for sunrise.
2. Hike to Linville Falls
This is the first driveway inside Pisgah National Wilderness (Old NC Hwy. 105), Linville Falls entrance.
- 15 – 20 minute moderate walk on a well kept dirt trail.
- You could push a hardy baby stroller up this, probably not a wheelchair.
- Great view. No wading. (It's at the top of larger falls)
3. Half-Day Hike Into the Gorge
Easiest trail is the Pine Gap Trail to the Linville Gorge Trail. This is strenuous for a person who sits at a desk all week. It might be moderate for someone who goes to the gym regularly.
- 4-5 hour round trip. 1.5 hr. hike in, 1.5 hr. hike out.
- Strenuous hike, uneven footing.
- Great views of the river.
- Beautiful waterfalls and swimming hole at destination.
Take a backpack with your towel, snacks, water, and book. Stay awhile and enjoy it before retuning. I have no pictures because my camera died at the very end, at sunset. The camera killed the memory card before killing itself and even the Geek Squad could not retrieve my photos.
4. Hacker Point
Old Conley parking spot to Hacker Point – 25 minute drive on gravel road.
- 20 minute moderate hike to beautiful lookout.
- Better views in the afternoon rather than morning.
Table Rock, pictured below from Wiseman's View, is a 1 hr drive away from Linville Falls Lodge. (8 miles of this consumes 30 minutes due to gravel mountain drive as you approach Table Rock) At the Table Rock Parking Area, there is primitive camping with one latrine.
There are two good choices once you park at the Table Rock Parking:
- 1-mile strenuous hike up
- 30-minute moderate hike to Chimneys
6. Tubing on the Catawba River. See the Catawba River Campground for more info. or google tubing in Marion, NC.
7. Linville Caverns
We did not stop in at the caverns yet, we are waiting for our return trip in July to take our granddaughter with us. I suspect it will be very much like the cave at Ruby Falls, TN. You can see my photos at that link.
8. Visit Miracle Grounds Coffee Shop – 10 minute drive up 221 to Crossnore. Linville Falls has no cell signal and no wifi. Go to the coffee shop for both. Go to their website and read about their history, it's pretty awesome.
I'll leave you with this shot of me with my morning joe at Wiseman's View.
Swimming Holes of Linville Falls