Sunday, October 2, 2022

Linville and Dugger’s Creek Falls

Sunday August 7, 2022                                                    Most Recent Posts:
Bear Den Family Campground                              Wish I’d Had a Mycologist
MP 324.5 Blue Ridge Parkway                                  Local Towns and Trails
Spruce Pine North Carolina                    

It’s Sunday and I usually don’t go out on the week-ends because there are so many folks out and about and on the trails.  I have that luxury when I stay some where at least a month.   But I’ve been hanging around the campground doing its hikes now for a week and it’s time to venture further out.

20220807_083721Linville Falls is close by down the Blue Ridge Parkway so it’s my destination this morning. 

These falls are very well known and very popular.  The falls were donated to the National Park Service in 1952 by the ever famous for his National Park generosity John D Rockefeller.   The falls are 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. There are a maze of trails to 5 different views of the falls as you can see from the map.  I suspect you’ll have to click it to really see it and where the falls are.   By the end of the day, I had hiked nearly 6 miles.

When I arrived in the parking lot, there were only 3 other cars there

IMG_2940From the parking lot I went to the Visitor’s Center which wasn’t open yet when I arrived. 

I visited it later and learned the above information as well as that the falls move in several steps, beginning with a twin set of upper falls, moving down a small gorge and culminating in a high volume 45 foot drop.  I wish I’d known this when I started out as I would have tried to see the overlooks in that order.

I crossed the placid, at this point, Linville River and started down what looked like a wide and easy path. 


But shortly, woe to those in inappropriate shoes.  It was barely 8am when I was hiking along this rooty path. 


My first overlook, I believe, is what is known as Chimney View though I’m not sure why the name.  Lovely look at the ridges in one direction and a very distant view of the falls in the other.  The viewpoints are made of rocks and look like something the CCC might have done though I didn't read that they did.


Look carefully for the falls in the distance above the water pool on the right.

Closer. . . .

Closer. . . .

Closer. . . .

Closest. . . .  No idea where the side shoot is coming from.  The first picture shows a closed rock top above the falls.  Wish I could get over there on top and look around but I was unable to find a way though I’m sure there is one if you are a local and know where to go.


Not sure now which overlook this is but it’s a different angle, the falls is in the distance and again there is a rock overlook.  This is what I saw without my camera’s zoom


And with the zoom.   These must be the upper falls judging by what I later learned.


There was nice distant view of the gorge and the river from here as well.

On I walked following signs to the views.


My earlier assumption proved true as this trail led to what they call the Upper Falls Overlook and took me down much closer to the view I’d just seen above.


From here I could watch the river run on through the gorge.


Definitely not a river to raft or kayak as it roared around and through the rocks.

Take a look at this video and try to imagine yourself going down this from the upper falls.



At the time I thought this was the  most difficult and muddy trail.  Later I labeled it most muddy, 2nd most difficult.  It went to the Plunge Basin Overlook







Love this camera’s zoom


I couldn’t decide between these two.  They give such a feeling of power and noise.  So I didn’t decide.   Wish I’d been close enough to hear just how loud this must have been.  I did take this short video from my vantage point.  Just imagine how loud it would be if I wasn’t so far away.


From there I headed down into the gorge.  Another trail for which you definitely want the right shoes and a hiking pole.


When I stopped to look up at the high rock walls, it was a feeling of being down inside.


Yes, this is the trail, over those rocks and around the tree.   The first two overlooks have reasonable trails but the rest require real hiking.




But, here I am.


The trail down was the most difficult of the 5 and I thought perhaps it was too difficult for others and I might have this lovely spot to myself.


Silly Me.

I stepped back from the falls and found a large rock to sit on to absorb the sounds and beauty of this spot.  Within minutes as I went to take this picture a family walked into it.  I hadn’t heard them behind me and they didn’t see me on the rock. 


I thought it was amazing that the two children could have climbed down that difficult trail.  Later as I waited hoping they might leave, I saw the father carrying the smaller child and figured he had carried her down.  Also amazing given that trail.  No poles.


It has been very interesting to view these falls from so many different angles.


Eventually a group of 6 women hikers also came down, then two other couples and I gave up my thoughts of out waiting them all.


Hiking the trail back up was much easier and took me less time.  The 6 women had left quite a while before me but I passed them on the trail and was pretty pleased with myself as they were all quite a bit younger than I.

I had another falls to see here but before it, I stopped at the Visitor Center which was now open. It was very interesting and full of information.

  On the left is the table topographic map which gave me an overview of where I’d just been.

In September of 2004 three hurricanes blew over the mountains of North Carolina over the span of three weeks, causing flooding, landslides and the wettest month ever in the western part of the state.  Many Virgin Trees here were lost.  This tree trunk section is from a 300 year old white pine lost at that time.  I had no idea white pines could live so long.    If you can see the red knobs in the picture, they pull out to reveal interesting information such as that below.

I was surprised to learn that the falls had been twice as high at the beginning of the 20th century.


And sad to hear that the Natives were driven from their homeland so early.  Who can blame them for trying to protect themselves and their way of life.


From the visitor center,  I took a short trail to nearby Duggers Creek Falls.  It leaves from a corner of the Visitor Center parking lot.   It is a really lovely 10’ waterfall tucked away in a beautiful cove and reached by a trail of less than half a mile.

20220807_130343Everything I read said that there was a view of the falls from the lovely bridge.  But that was apparently some time ago.  What I needed were water boots so I could just walk up the creek to see the falls.  But I didn’t have any.  Note to self.  Get some and keep them in the car along with your hiking boots and pole which live there.

I was able to step out on some rocks beyond the bridge and bend down to get this partial waterfall shot from under the bridge.  With boots, I could have walked all the way up the creek.



My phone camera gave me this shot in which the color is quite different.


But I really wanted to see the full falls.  SO  I looked around.  Was there a non official trail that might take me closer.   I explored.  This looked possible but beyond that I was simply following the sound and ultimately got myself turned around and lost with no trail in sight and rhododendron in my face everywhere.


Wisely I gave up and with some mild trepidation managed to find my way back to the trail.  Not sure how but luckily I did and by then I’d had enough for today.

I did find these wonderful quotes along the short Dugger’s Creek Trail and want to remember them.  I have read the works of both of these authors so I have some happy memories associated with them.  I so appreciate when the parkway goes to the trouble to do these quotations and in a way that they will last.  I hope other hikers will take heed of their messages.

IMG_3069The nearest overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway to the campground is the Bear Den Overlook for which I assume the campground was named.  I could not see the campground from here but I stopped on my way home to enjoy the views.


This really is one of the best of all worlds staying at a campground on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The woods are dark and deep, there are waterfalls all around and the views range for miles.


And Black Eyed Susans too.


I apologize for the picture heavy post.  It was a long and great day which I don’t seem to have been able to abbreviate.  


  1. Lovely pictures of the long hike! One of my favorite waterfalls that you've shared.

    1. I forgot to add the 2 videos Laurie and had to go back and do them just now. I'm sorry they were not there when you commented. Thank you so much for the comment.

    2. Went back and watched and listened to the wonderful sound!

  2. I'm shocked to hear that flip-flops are not appropriate hiking shoes! Actually I've seen that as well as just skimpy sandles on people's feet while they're hiking. Then they complain when they twist an ankle or fall down and bust their a**. The all time great dumbest thing I've seen on a trail (and a difficult one at that) was two people pushing a baby carriage with a dog (!!!) inside it.

    Maybe it's good more people don't hike trails, reduces the idiots that get in the way? :c)

  3. Linville Falls is so lovely - I have memories of being there all the way from childhood! I'll be back up in Boone week after next and looking forward to seeing the foliage. Hope you are enjoying the time at home and that the hurricane did not impact any of your winter plans although I suspect it probably did.

    1. Great to see you here Sharon. Lucky you to be in Boone and the mountains for the fall foliage. Not sure about my winter in Florida yet. Many of the places I have reservations are either closed or the campground is closed. I'm crossing my fingers given my last two years of terrible luck going there.

  4. No apologies needed. I enjoyed every one.

    1. Thank you Judith for the comment. I'm so glad you enjoyed the so many photos.

  5. Very good coverage of the area. Thank you.

    1. Barney, I'm so happy to hear from you. Thank you for the compliment.

  6. It's been many years since we visited Linville Falls. Beautiful place, enjoyed
    your photos!

    1. It's a nice hike and would be even nicer in off times of the year. Thanks for commenting. It's great to hear from you.

  7. Looks like a great time, and so glad you are able to get out and enjoy! Keep finding the good stuff. Love all the photos.

    1. It was a great day. Glad you don't mind all the photos. Thanks so much for the comment.

  8. Great pictures and a lot of information! We have the postcard from Linville Falls on the fridge. Nice to see the post! Really neat falls and a lot of impressive hiking. Well done!

    1. Thanks Carrie.. It was a fun hike with lots lots of overlooks to go to. Guess I'd better send more postcards. :-)) Hope I'll be going to Florida this Winter. Right now 2 of the Campgrounds at which I have reservations are closed. Hope they open by mid November. One of them is Gamble Rogers on the East Coast not the West. I guess it must be flooding from the inner coastal waterway.

  9. I agree, camping near the Blue Ridge Parkway is terrific! We enjoyed our hike at Linville Falls, too, and your photos and your description are wonderful. It was muddy when we were there last October, so it must be muddy year round. Your comment about the hurricanes coming through the NC mountains in 2004 gave me pause...I didn't remember that!

    1. I too was surprised to hear about the 2004 hurricanes. Surely we knew. How easily I forgot. What a change to the falls. I have had such a nice summer other than the mountain roads to get here. Thanks to you for paving the way. Perhaps I will follow your this summer's plan, next summer. LOL. Or maybe I should just follow you next summer. ;-)

  10. This is a lovely and most intriguing falls. You do find the good ones, tough trail or not.

  11. What a wonderfully different waterfall! I love that it seems to flow from the depth of the mountain. Those roots look gnarly for hiking anywhere, let alone all day - you amaze me. Beautiful long views from the overlook. Hope that one continues to provide unblocked vistas!!


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