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Longstreet Highroad Guide to the North Carolina Mountains

By Lynda McDaniel

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Linville Gorge

In the case of the Linville Gorge area, shared names can cause confusion and real problems. Two destinations—one a family fun site and another an isolated wilderness—have Linville in their names. Here's how it breaks down: geographically, Linville Gorge, one of the most scenic areas in the eastern United States, is formed by Linville Mountain on the west and Jonas Ridge on the east. As the Linville River flows from high atop Grandfather Mountain and drops into the Catawba Valley and the Piedmont below, it has cut one of the deepest and most rugged gorges east of the Mississippi River, 1,700 to 2,000 feet deep depending on your source. Two distinct natural areas surround Linville Gorge: Linville Falls Recreation Area just off the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area. Linville Falls Recreation Area is operated by the National Park Service and offers several easy to moderate trails that lead to stunning views of the falls. Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, operated by the National Forest Service, is a 10,975-acre primitive environment far removed from the conveniences of civilization. Finally, the community of Linville Falls is a small village at the intersection of NC 183 and US 221, not to be confused with the town of Linville, 12 miles north on US 221.

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Published (print): 1999, Published (Web): December 2000, Revised (Web): November 2002, ISBN: 1-56352-463-5
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