(Above) Morning view from the Top Deck
Conveniently Eagle Mountain Ridge is located on the western side of Linville Mountain, which forms the western boundary of the Linville Gorge. The Gorge has
39 miles of hiking trails. A vast amount of information is available about all the trails at the following link:
Linville Gorge Wilderness Area
also part of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, leads from Old Linville Road
(less than 700 yards north from our driveway) up to Old NC 105, the road that
runs along the crest of the western side of the Linville Gorge. There is an
OVNHT marker on Old linville Road to show the beginning of the trail which looks
More info about the OVNHT is on the History page.
This photo was taken at Wisemans View of my son and a friend.
The following excert about the Linville Gorge is taken from the website above:
The Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, also known as the Grand Canyon of the East, is one of the wildest, most rugged gorges in the eastern United States. Itís also an outdoor paradise for hikers and backpackers.
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.
There are 39 miles of trails that weave in and out of Linville Gorge. Hiking trails in the Gorge generally start along either of the two gravel forest service roads that traverse the east and west rims. Most of the trails lead down towards the river, meaning most trails are on steep terrain, making for strenuous and challenging hiking. At the bottom of the gorge is the longest trail in the wilderness area, the 11.5-mile Linville Gorge Trail which runs along the west side of the river.
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(PDF) Map of Linville Gorge Trails (click for
3D view of Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail
(OVNHT), also known as Trail #308, shown in red. Eagle Mountain property is shown in green. We are currently blazing a trail
(shown in white) from the property to the OVNHT but it is currrently half way complete. The
OVNHT starts from Old Linville Road and travels to the forestry fire road #106 shown in
light blue. This section is fairly well cleared.
When the OVNHT continues across fire road 106 it becomes part of the Mountains
to Sea Trail (MST) until it hits Old NC 105 (gravel/dirt), also known as Kistler
Memorial Highway and NC 1238, depending on the map you are looking at.
Here the MST turns northeast
on Old 105 for a brief period and then turns east and down into the Gorge.
The OVNHT turns south on Old 105 and continues to Lake James.
Turning left (northeast) on fire road 106 will take you northeast towards the
section of the Gorge and also brings you to Old NC 105, which runs along the western rim of the Gorge. This is also the boundary between
McDowell and Burke counties. All western side Gorge Trailheads start from this road.
This is a very scenic road.
The map below shows the OVNHT in yellow and the MST in blue.
(click on map to open high res version in new window)
Many Gorge trail maps are available at
www.linvillegorge.net/mapindex.php such as the map below. Additional
maps can be viewed on the Maps page.
At Eagle Mountain there are very detailed trail maps from National Geographic
for the Linville Gorge and Mount Mitchell trail systems that are framed and
hanging in the "Map Hall" for your reference.
This map shows the Mountain to Sea Trail through the Linville Gorge.
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