The Linville Gorge Wilderness is a Federal wilderness area in western North Carolina, also known as the Grand Canyon of the East, is one of the wildest, most rugged gorges in the eastern United States. It’s also an outdoor paradise for hikers and backpackers.
The Linville Gorge Wilderness Area lies entirely within the Pisgah National Forest and is managed by the Grandfather Ranger District of the United States Forest Service. It’s located roughly 60 miles northeast of Asheville and can be accessed via the Blue Ridge Parkway near milepost 314. The Gorge encompasses more than 12,000 acres around the Linville River, making it the third largest wilderness area in North Carolina, and one of only two wilderness gorges in the southern United States.
Elevations in the Gorge 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, and is covered by a dense mixed forest of hardwood, pine and a wide variety of smaller trees and plants. The steep walls of the Gorge enclose the Linville River for nearly 12 miles as it descends roughly 1,900 feet before breaking into the open levels of the Catawba Valley.
Recreation opportunities in the Gorge include hiking, backpacking, mountain biking and rock climbing. Camping is allowed, but permits are required from May 1 through October 31. Hunting and fishing are also allowed but permits are required as well.
The Linville Gorge Wilderness is a Federal wilderness area in western North Carolina, also known as the Grand Canyon of the East, is one of the wildest, most rugged gorges in the eastern United States.
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