Monday, July 20, 2009

Linville Gorge from Wisemen's View






Touted as the Grand Canyon of the East Coast the Linville Gorge can be viewed from a point called Wisemen's View - from the town of Linville Falls, take HWY 183 towards Jonas Ridge and turn right off on the dirt road leading to parking for Linville Falls, Drive past the parking area and continue for about four miles on very rough rocky dirt road. We did this with a rental car - it can be brutal on your car and slow going but well worth it. I do not advise using a two-wheel drive car on this road! At the end is a rock wall and viewing station for the gorge looking towards Jonas Ridge and down the gorge. Here's a bit of information about the area and the Gorge.

The Linville River with its source high on Grandfather Mountain has, by its tremendous scouring action, formed one of Eastern America's most scenic and rugged gorges. The steep walls of the Gorge enclose the Linville River for 12 miles. The river's swift waters descend over 2,000 feet before breaking into the open levels of the Catawba Valley,



Elevation averages 3,400 feet along the rim of the Gorge and 2,000 feet on Linville River.The Linville Gorge Wilderness , in the western North Carolina Mountains, is part of the Pisgah National Forest. The gorge is formed by Jonas Ridge on the east, and Linville Mountain on the west and is bisected by the Linville River, which drops into the valleys below. The odd assortment of rock formations located on Jonas Ridge include Sitting Bear, Hawksbill, Table Rock, and the Chimneys. Elevations range from 1,300 feet on the Linville River to 4,120 feet on Gingercake Mountain. The terrain is extremely steep and rugged with numerous rock formations. It is covered by a dense hardwood/pine forest and a wide variety of smaller trees and other plants. Recreation opportunities include hiking,backpacking, rock climbing, fishing, and hunting.



Linville Gorge was first designated a wild area in 1951 by the Chief of the Forest Service. With the signing of the Wilderness Act of 1964, the area became one of the original components of the National Wilderness System. The original 7,575 acres was increased to the present 12,002 acres by the 1984 North Carolina Wilderness Act.

The wilderness of the Linville Gorge is rich in both plant and animal life. There are five species of rare plants, several varieties of rhododendron, and virgin forests in the deep coves. The rugged terrain has always made development difficult, and the wilderness designation now prevents development in the gorge. Sand mrtyle, red chokeberry, azalea, turkey beard, bristly locust, yellow root, silverbell, orchids, ninebark, and wild indigo are among the many plant species. Animal species include deer, bear, squirrel, raccoon, grouse, turkey, vultures, owls, hawks, as well as brown and rainbow trout. Hikers should also be wary of copperheads and timber rattlers. Hunting and fishing are allowed but permits are required. Camping is permitted in the gorge but permits are required from May 1 through October 31. It is always a good idea to check in with the rangers and let them know you are going into the gorge. The gorge is a rugged and wild place and visitors should treat the wilderness with respect.

I highly recommend a stop at the Linville Falls Visitor Center, located on the Blue Ridge Parkway, open April 15 - November 1 9AM-5PM. The center is well stocked with maps, and the rangers are a great source of "inside" information about the gorge.

(Info from the Forest Service)

To see more posts from all over the world, visit My World Tuesday at http://showyourworld.blogspot.com/ or click on the sidebar photo.

14 comments:

Hazel, Thailand said...

The first shot gave me an impression of the Great Wall of China. Gingercake Mountain sounds very pretty. The plant species in there make a botanist's paradise. I love your header; makes me feel cozy (I'm a country girl at heart forced to live in a busy metropolis)

Snap said...

Wonderful photos. The gorge is beautiful. It's been years since we've driven along the Parkway ... something I want to do again.

Wolynski said...

What beautiful landscape - had no idea the Appalachian mountains were so gorgeous.

Carver said...

Great post and photographs. This was very well written and I also enjoyed your shots. My mother was from the NC mountains and I still have a lot of family and friends there.

Barb said...

So pretty and scenic - I like your Eastern Mountains which are quite different from my Rocky Mountains. You have so many deciduous trees. I bet it's beautiful with fall colors.

Jo said...

What an interesting post. And the views... stunning!

Louise said...

That is such an awesome view. I don't think I've seen pictures of it before. The lushness of the trees is wonderful as well. Love this post!

Gaelyn said...

This gorge is breathtaking and does remind of a mini-shaped, green-walled Grand Canyon. Looks like a challenging yet peaceful place to hike. Great captures.

NCmountainwoman said...

Just gorgeous photographs. I know all those mountains by name, having traveled them so often when I was a child living in Boone and visiting relatives in Morganton. My great uncle was the postmaster of Jonas Ridge for many years and I remember with delight our visits to see him in his big house.

Arija said...

Thank goodnes this little paradise for flora and fauna is now protected from development, I hope it always stay so.
By the way, how many cats do you have? No need to answer if that is too personal a question.

creeklife said...

Your pictures are beautiful! I've been to Grandfather Mountain one time, but I was too young to really enjoy and appreciate it. I would love to go now.
I have family in Maggie Valley, is that anywhere near you??

Greensboro Daily Photo said...

Wow! You are visiting a part of our state that I have only seen on postcards. Time to get out and travel. What has inspired you most about this trip? Surprised? North Carolina has so much to offer. We NC bloggers should start at one end and go to the other, all the way to the coast on some kind of photo tour!

WNC Mountain Living said...

We moved to the High Country from Florida 11 years ago and have loved every minute of living here. We have seen it all in this neck of the state but have not made it to the coast yet. Maggie Valley is about an hour from where we now live near Asheville. Thanks for all the great comments.

April said...

What a stunning view! Beautiful landscape! Your pictures are wonderful.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin

ShareThis