A Hike for Climbers
June 17, 2021
A visit to Asheville may include a stay at our bed & breakfast, Pinecrest. But make sure to carve out time to see the spectacular wonder of the Appalachian Mountains. As much as we enjoy driving the Blue Ridge Parkway, some of the best views are off the beaten path.
Several recommended hikes include the ruins of Rattlesnake Lodge, built in the early 1900s but burned in 1926. Another hike with some elevation gain but stunning 360-degree views is Bearwalllow Mountain. Lastly, Catawba Falls is a quick 3-mile hike to see waterfalls. But for seriously great views, go see Linville Gorge, sometimes called “the Grand Canyon of Eastern USA.”
Located in Pisgah National Forest, Linville Gorge is 12 miles long and 2,000 feet deep in the valley. With steep rugged terrain, the area is heavily forested and also has numerous rock formations. Highlights of the area include Linville Falls, Table Rock Mountain, and Hawksbill Mountain.
Or opt for the lesser-known and strenuous Shortoff Mountain trail. This 4.5 miles out and back trail climbs 1300 feet in elevation in the first mile. Because Shortoff Mountain has burned in forest fires, the reward is jaw-dropping views of Lake James on the way up.
Halfway up, the Mountains to the Sea Trail join from the left. Eventually, the forest trail flattens out and follows the ridgeline for about one more mile. There is a rare mountain top pond as well as campsites on the plateau. Multiple rock outcroppings signal you’ve arrived with views across the river of Linville Mountain. Up the gorge is Table Rock and Hawksbill Mountain.
Linville Gorge is located approximately 60 miles east of Asheville. Use GPS for driving directions as there a multiple twists and turns. Cars will need to navigate the last few miles on dirt and gravel roads but 4-wheel drive is no necessary. There is no parking lot, just spots on the side of the Wolf Pit road as it dead ends. No facilities either so carry plenty of freshwater your hike.
We recommend using an app like AllTrails.com for the best, most complete details. Use extreme caution when near the edge of the rocks!
Choose Pinecrest Bed & Breakfast for its great location close to downtown Asheville and all that Western North Carolina has to offer. Stay 3 nights (through September 30, 2021) and add our $99 for 2 Biltmore Tickets offer. Spend the day touring Biltmore Estate. Spend another day hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains. All mornings we will serve up a hot homemade breakfast to start your day.