Linville Falls is a beautifully picturesque waterfall which is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, in the United States. The falls move in several distinct steps, beginning in a twin set of upper falls. Linville Falls then progresses to move down a small gorge, and culminating in a high-volume 45-foot (14 m) drop. It is named for the Linville River, which goes over the falls. Linville Falls has the highest volume of any waterfall on the Northern Edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Linville Falls marks the beginning of the Linville Gorge, which is formed by the same Linville River.
Linville Falls History
The river continues on after the falls before finally ending near Lake James. Traditionally, the falls were used by local Native American tribes to execute their prisoners. No one is known to have ever survived a fall over the final plunge, with the exception of kayaker Pat Keller in 2010. The falls were donated to the National Park Service in 1952 by philanthropist John Rockefeller. He also provided about $100,000 for purchase of the land, including an approximately 1,100-acre (445 hectare) area surrounding the falls and a part of Linville Gorge. The land was purchased from Giulia Luginbuhl of Des Moines, IA, whose father, F. W. Hossfeld of Morganton, NC, had purchased the property in the year 1900.
Linville Falls Description
At one time, the upper section of the main plunge was the same height as the lower section. However, heavy flooding altered the geology of the area, and caused the upper section to collapse on top of the lower falls, making the lower falls a considerably longer plunge. Linville Falls is owned by the United States National Park Service. They operates a visitor center and several miles of non-handicapped accessible trails with 4 overlooks for the falls. The 0.5 mi (0.80 km) Upper Falls trail leads to the top of the falls, where visitors can see the small twin upper falls and the water spiraling through a small canyon on its way to the main falls.
Linville Falls Ruggedness
The Erwin’s View trail leads to 2 overlooks, the Chimney View overlook (0.7 miles) and the Erwin’s View overlook (0.8 miles). The 0.5 mi (0.80 km) Plunge Basin Trail leads to the Plunge Basin Overlook, which provides a view of the falls from the other side of the river. Finally, the 0.7 mi (1.1 km) Gorge Trail, which branches off from the Plunge Basin trail, leads to an area near the foot of the falls. Swimming is prohibited at all areas of Linville Falls. The area comprises extremely rugged terrain, an many deaths have occurred.
Todd Sain Sr.