"This and That" in Linville Gorge

"This and That" in Linville Gorge

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: May 19, 2012
Activities Activities: Hiking
Seasons Season: Spring

A "This and That" Weekend

In the middle of May my brother Jim, his son Dave and I made our annual weekend trip to the southern Appalachians. I chose to head back to Linville Gorge again this year as there were a few things I wanted to accomplish. If you asked me what we did on our short day and a half visit I would probaby respond "this and that". I already posted the trip report for the scrambling Dave and I did on Hawksbill. This is a photo trip report of some of the other areas we visited that weekend. We hit a number of spots, several of which there isn't much if any information about them on SummitPost (but don't really justify posting separate pages). Hopefully some of this informatin will be helpful to anyone planning a vist to Linville Gorge.

Ledge Redemption

It may not sound very exciting, but on this trip, more than anything else, I wanted to find the Ledge Trail. Last year, due to some poor planning and some really bad map reading on my part, I wound up on the Hawksbill Climber's Trail instead of Ledge, resulting in some nasty, unnecesary and unproductive bushwhacking. I hoped to redeem myself this year.

Ledge contours around the cliffs of Hawksbill and winds its way back to the road (and Ledge-Spence Connector). If you have any interest in completing a loop hike of the entire Gorge (which I do), and do so without hiking on any roads (which I would prefer), then finding Ledge is one of several trails that you will not find on the Forest Service map but will need to make yourself familiar with. (Thanks to all the Gorge Rats over at www.linvillegorge.net for all their help, supplying a lot of the necessary beta.)
Hawksbill SummitJim and Dave on the summit of Hawksbill

On our way down the pedestrian trail from the summit of Hawksbill I started looking for Ledge, which I knew was not too far from the summit and would veer off to the left (west).

This picture may not look like much, but it is the best info on how to locate Ledge. There is no trail sign pointing the way, and I counted at least four spur trails heading to the west from the pedestrial trail, so choosing the correct trail without any beta will be a SWAG. The green streak on the tree stump, and having to step up to the trail are your clues.
Ledge Trail

We didn't have a lot of time as I wanted to get over to Sitting Bear Mountain so we only hiked a short way down the trail. I was content just finding it.
Ledge Trail

Ledge Trail

Ledge Trail

Ledge TrailWe hit the Gorge at the righe time. The rhododendron were out in full force.

The Cliffs of Hawksbill MountainCliffs of Hawksbill Mountain

Sitting Bear Mountain

After our short jaunt down Ledge we made our way back to the Jonas Ridge Trail and headed for Sitting Bear Mountain.
A Rhododenron CanopyA rhododendron canopy on the Jonas Ridge Trail.

Coming from the south, once you get close to Sitting Bear, the trail has a reputation for being quite steep. And it is! There are two short steep stretches below the summit. I was very glad to be able to use the tree roots and trees themselves to help on both the ascent and descent.
The Trail to Sitting Bear

The Trail to Sitting Bear

Sitting Bear RockSitting Bear Rock is quite impressive and offers a number of technical climbing routes.

There are a number of spur trails at the summit that lead to great viewing spots.
Looking South From Sitting BearLooking south...

Grandfather Mountain From Sitting BearGrandfather Mountain off in the distance.

Hurricane WallHurricane Wall

Sitting Bear Overlook

Soakin  It In

Linville Falls

On Sunday we took it pretty easy and decided to just be tourons. Originally I had planned on hiking down to Babel Tower and use the Cabin Trail to make a loop. But since we only had a few hours before needing to head home I decided something less strenuous would be a good idea. This was my brother's second trip to the Gorge and he still hadn't seen the river. What better place to see the river then at Linville Falls? After that we could stop over at Wiseman's View to take in some great views. A nice easy touron morning.

So after our second morning in a row eating breakfast in Burke County we headed over to Linville Falls. There had been quite a bit of rain in the area recently so the flow from the falls was really good. Probably as fast as I've ever seen them flowing.
Upper FallsDave and Jim at the Upper Falls
Upper Falls

Lower Falls

Lower Falls...with a little zoom...

Wiseman's View

At Wiseman's Dave and I were able to do a little exploring, while Jim stayed at the main viewing area enjoying the awesome views of the Gorge that you get from there.
Looking North From Wiseman s ViewLooking north...

Dave and I found a "trail" leading down in front of Wiseman's cliffs.
Below the Cliffs of Wiseman s View

Below the Cliffs of Wiseman s View

We also took an unimproved trail over to some cliffs, that offer a good view of Wiseman's.

Cliffs of Wiseman s ViewCliffs of Wiseman's View

Til  Next TimeGetting in one last good look before heading for home...


Post a Comment
Viewing: 1-2 of 2
Sarah Simon

Sarah Simon - Jun 4, 2012 10:30 am - Voted 10/10


For sharing more about this amazing area with us. The greenery is almost overwhelming (for western eyes)! -Sarah


MarkDidier - Jun 4, 2012 9:36 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: Thanks

Yeah...I love that spring green in the southern Appalachians! Glad you enjoyed it. Happy Trails, Mark

Viewing: 1-2 of 2



Parents refers to a larger category under which an object falls. For example, theAconcagua mountain page has the 'Aconcagua Group' and the 'Seven Summits' asparents and is a parent itself to many routes, photos, and Trip Reports.

Linville GorgeTrip Reports