Linville Falls - Erwin's View
Linville Falls is near the Wilson Creek Wilderness area and if you're on the Blue Ridge Parkway near here, you really should plan to stop. It's rather touristy, so go on a week day to avoid the crowds if you can. The road to the falls only turns one way off the BRP at mile post 316.4, and dead ends after a mile and a half at the visitors center. If you are coming via I-40 west of Marion, get off on the Hwy 221 exit in Marion and head north. Take 221 all the way to the Blue Ridge Parkway, head north on the BRP and the right turn for Linville Falls is about a mile down. Coming from east of Morganton on I-40, you can take exit 103 which is Hwy 64. Head east, back towards Morganton. Follow the 64 east truck and by-pass route until you get to Hwy 181 north. Take this left turn and take 181 north to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Turn left (south) on the BRP and drive a few miles to the left turn for the Linville Falls parking. Check your road map to see what route is best for you.
update 1-28-06 I didn't realize this until now, but the main parking area I mention above closes some time 'after season' and so does the visitors center and bathrooms! There is a back parking lot that stays open all winter - I doubt if it gets plowed after a snow. Check your maps again - if you come up 221, when you get to the town of Linville Falls just before the Parkway, turn right on Hwy 183. Drive under a mile and turn right at the big sign pointing the way. The parking lot is on the left. The trail to the falls is on the same side of the road - look to your right as you turn into the lot. If you come up 181 from I-40, Hwy 183 turns to the left as you close in on the Parkway. Turn and drive maybe 4-5 miles (?) to the left turn into the parking area. By the way, the gravel road you turn on continues up the mountain to the trails into the Linville Gorge and Wiseman's View. I also just added Duggers Creek Falls to the site. It's off of the main paved parking area, so if you are in the back lot, hike towards to falls from the lot and look for the trail back to the visitors center.
There are 2 main trails to follow. Erwin's View Trail is by far the most popular. It's 1.6 miles round trip and moderate in difficulty. The trail begins at the visitors center, then crosses the Linville River. The first viewing area is at 0.5 miles and offers a view of the small double falls above the main falls. Below this, the river narrows and snakes through a small gorge before plunging over the main drop.
Farther up the main trail at 0.7 miles is Chimney View - the 1st view of the main falls. There's also a great view of the Linville River and gorge below the falls.
The trail ends at Erwin's View Overlook. 0.8 miles from the visitors center. The view from this overlook is shown in the 1st photo on this page.
The other trail takes you to river level and offer what I think are the best views. Click here to see...
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