derek didn’t have as much time off during our time in the lenoir and linville area, so i took a few solo trips with the kiddos. one such adventure was to linville falls. this is also a pretty heavily trafficked area, but we went on a weekday and took a more difficult trail than most of the folks heading to the park.
the parking area is the same for everyone, but i’m guessing that about 95% of the visitors just take the paved stroll over to an overlook that looks down into the gorge and at the falls. we took a trail that hikes along the other side of the gorge, down to the bottom, for a view looking up at the walls of the gorge.
off we went. the kids were pretty chipper. first we passed by little trickling bonus waterfall whose name i have since forgotten.
there was a lot of stairs and rocky descents, as you would expect traveling down to the bottom of a gorge nicknamed “the grand canyon of the east”. (there are a lot of self proclaimed grand canyons of the east).
we didn’t see too many people along the way. so few in fact, that we thought we were on the wrong trail.
finally, we reached the bottom. hazel immediately set up shop for her snacking and the other two and i wandered around taking in the landscape.
the falls were very pretty with the colorful leaves surrounding them. once again, i took a million photos and as i edited this post, came to the conclusion that they are all the same.
we got as close as we felt comfortable with, but watched a number of people (without small children) shimmy along a log over the water, getting them much closer to the action. i just used my camera’s zoom.
we wandered around and climbed rocks for a good while. and took all those million photos, of course.
eventually, the gorge began to fill up, so we took that as our sign to move on out. if you’re wondering, the overlook to see the falls from above is sort of situated on the upper left corner of the following pic. you can’t see it, but thats where we could look up and see tiny little specks peering down at us. well, probably at the falls.
the hike out was obviously more strenuous, but climbing over rocks distracts from the effort.
the views at the bottom were pretty amazing, but the hike out wasn’t too shabby either.
we made the executive decision to take a little side trail that took us down to another overlook. it was pretty cool and worth it. or at least thats what we said before we realized how much “down” it took us when we went back “up” in reverse. ok. either way it was worth it.
back at the parking lot, we used the bathrooms, skipped the long line for the gift shop, strolled over to a bridge that looks out over the calm waters before reaching the falls. and loaded up to head back to camp.
another successful leaf (and waterfall) peeping day in the books.