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Linville Falls-Blue Ridge Parkway, Catawba Falls 6/1-3/18

We spent the weekend at one of our favorite places to camp, Linville Falls on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been. It is truly unplugged. We had no cell service or internet all weekend. It was just what Wiley needed after a stressful few months of work.

We camped in our same spot as last time, A12, which backs up to the Linville River, as do most the loop “A” sites. We had nice cool weather with only a little drizzle that didn’t slow us down a bit. We drove from the campground to the trails, unsure of the weather, instead of hiking, like last time. We hiked the Erwin’s View Trail from the Visitor’s Ctr to Upper Linville falls, We could not believe the destruction due to extremely high rain fall in May. The high waters had destroyed part of the observation area and dumped tons of debris at the upper falls. From there, we hiked on to the Chimney View Overlook, then to the longest range view at Erwin’s View. We sat for a while at Chimney View to just take it in and enjoy the beauty. We met two young guys, Alex & Jessie, from Greenville, NC, not SC, who were visiting for the first time. We enjoyed talking to them and giving them some recs for hikes in the area. Alex had not camped since he was 10. It was awesome to hear that two 20 somethings, had opted to spend their weekend camping, hiking, and exploring, away from the city and electronics. There’s hope for the next generation.

We saw a total of 5 otters over the weekend, which was just icing to all the beauty. We spotted them in the river by the campground and by the visitors center on the way to the falls. Linville always delivers! Sorry, they were too far away to get decent pics to share.

We opted not to hike the Plunge Basin Trail, this visit, but highly recommend it for first time visitors seeking a challenge. Instead, we packed up early Sunday and set out for Catawba Falls on our way home from Linville. So thrilled that we did. I had always heard of it, but never been. It was one of the most gorgeous water filled hikes and falls we’d ever seen. The water flow was incredible from all the rain.

We almost didn’t get there, due to a landslide they were working on cleaning up on the road in just before you reach the falls parking lot. Luckily, we were able to pass and experience the beauty that is Catawba Falls. Incredible, majestic beauty!

 

I went to the bottom of the falls and half way up. Crazy Wiley took the puppies, went past the “Peligro” sign (asking me what it said, when I translated “Danger” in Spanish, he just kept going…), and ventured up the mountain to attempt reaching the top of the falls. I sat on a rock half way up and waited anxiously. A lady came down from above and said she’d seen them, so I knew they were alive then, but was worried about presently. Thankfully, they came down shortly after saying they had to turn around when they came to ropes to climb up the rocks. Wiley had the good sense to realize he could not climb the ropes with two puppies. Whew!

This hike and falls should be on your short list. One of WNC’s finest. It is a gradual grade 1.25 mile hike from the parking lot, making it good for all ages and abilities, under 3 miles round trip. Get there!

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