Thursday, March 15, 2007

Linville Falls: From Erwin's View

The Linville Falls area is just North of the Linville Gorge along the Blue Ridge Parkway. You can find this attraction at milepost 316.5 of the Blue Ridge Parkway, just South of the Linn Cove Viaduct. A second trailhead can be found off of Kistler Memorial Highway (Old NC 105) off of NC 183. To view the Linville Falls, your best bet would be the former where the visitor's center is.

From the visitor's center, you will cross a bridge over a small stream to begin your hike. The trail has been newly reconditioned so it is a very pleasurable hike without having to walk through some rather dense woods. The hike is short, less than a mile, and except for some moderately steep sections, it is an easy one. There are several places along this Hemlock lined path that you will want to take a quick break. The first one that you come to will be a view of the Upper Falls.
 Erupting from the Forest

Froth and Foliage

Seasonal Shift

From this vantage point, you can get up close and personal with a set of twin falls that feed directly into the massive Linville Falls. There is a fenced in observation area that is just above water level. There are signs that warn you to stay behind the fence...this is for your safety as the currents are very strong leading to the largest waterfall in this part of the country.

Of particular interest at this location is the rock formations that surround the water. The striations along the rock walls are very interesting and look to be caused by years of the water cutting deeper into the surface. I can't recall the exact numbers, but I have read, somewhere, that the Linville Falls has actually moved a substantial amount over the years. It has reached much harder bedrock now, and its eroding nature has been stalled for a while.
Rocky Layers

As the water cuts through the rock, it eventually winds its way to the crevice that leads to the top of the main falls. The water flows violently at this stage, and I'm sure would be a painful ride if one were to get caught in the flow.

Water Carvings
 From the Upper Falls, you will head back to the trail and continue up to Erwin's View. You will pass a couple of overlooks on the side of the gorge called Chimney View. This vantage point will allow you a view of the Linville Falls which is now on the other side of the gorge from your location. Looking down, you can really get an idea of how far up you actually are.

Spilling From the Rocks Photo Copyright © 2007 G. Kiser

The last point on this trail is just a bit further up, and it is called Erwin's View. From here you have a nearly uninterrupted view of the gorge as well as the main falls. To the rear you can see the river snaking its way through the gorge. It really is an awe inspiring view.

 Impressive from a Distance

This trail is by far better than the Plunge Basin Trail on the other side of the falls. To really get up close and personal with the Linville Falls you need to take the trail all the way to the base of the falls.


jlocorriere05 said...

I could look at waterfall pics all day Greg! Yours are so beautiful, I'd like to sit by them! Jeannette xx  

rbrown6172 said... beautiful.  i especially like the 2nd the way the striations and the water softness complement one another....and that top shot....well, i just wish i were there!  :)

bgilmore725 said...

Truly beautiful photos, Greg... I'd love to visit this area. I can see how you are called to the mountains and waterfalls of NC. Your talent with the camera means the rest of us can take a peek at what you see for real on a grander scale. Thanks for sharing. It brings peace to me. Bea

inafrnz247 said...

Beautiful images you've captured, Greg ~ as always.

That's it.  I'm packin' my bags...

::smiling::   Michelle

madcobug said...

These are beautiful Greg. I am wondering if you have noticed the face profile in the third picture. The rocks on the right. There is the forehead, eye, nose, lips and chin. Helen

plieck30 said...

Just came by from Regina's journal to check out your waterfalls. They are beautiful. Paula