• Roger W. Downes

Linville Gorge Wilderness: What You Need To Know...

Being prepared to trek the trails of the Linville Gorge Wilderness...

When you venture into The Pisgah National Forest outside of Brevard, North Carolina you will discover well manicured trails accompanied by beautiful flora leading to majestic waterfalls filled with the sounds of families playing together. However, North East of Brevard in the mountains of Linville, the Pisgah National Forest opens up into 11,000 plus acres of wilds know as The Linville Gorge Wilderness.

Carved out of the bedrock of the Blue Ridge Mountains by the Linville River over the eons the Wilderness is scattered with thick forests, deep cravases, and towering peaks that awe and inspire. It is these natural wonders that spark a spirit of adventure in many of us to trek into the wilderness to experience the true natural world. It is a fact that if you stand silently on a rocky outcropping overlooking the beauty of God's artistry a peace like no other will come to your soul that recharges your spirit.

However, there are a few tips that you should note before you head out for your adventures in the Linville Gorge Wilderness. Lisa Jennings, Recreation and Trails Program Manager of The Pisgah National Forest Grandfather Ranger District shared several of those tips during the Explore With RWD Podcast. Here are a few of the more important ones to note.

  1. Don't bite off more than you can chew... If you are used to hiking several miles a day, understand there is a difference between Gorge miles and trail miles. The Gorge has steep inclines and thick underbrush in places making your hike slower and more strenuous. So factor that a mile hike in the Gorge could take three times the amount of energy and time as a typical trail mile.

  2. Carry in enough supplies... Sadly, 90% off all search and rescues in the United States are because people didn't carry in the correct supplies. For a day trip into the Wilderness you will need to bring enough water, food/snacks for an entire day, a map/compass (and knowledge how to use it,) proper footgear (slides or sandals are an ankle injury waiting to happen,) an emergency kit, and a jacket (even during the summer). In your emergency kit you will want at least the basic medical supplies for sprains, cuts and rashes. In addition, an emergency blanket and signal mirrors will help rescuers find you in case you get injured and can not hike out without assistance.

  3. Camping permitting... Since the Linville Gorge is a classified Wilderness Area by Congress, you must request a camping permit from the Grandfather Ranger District Office at least a month before you go camping. You can inquire about your permit by calling their offices at 828-652-2144.

To hear more tips from Jennings about the Linville Gorge Wilderness, listen to the twenty minute long podcast, Episode 19, Explore With RWD.

Finally, please remember while you're in the Wilderness to only take photos and leave only footprints. These areas are a national treasure and need all of us to maintain and respect. If you can't do that, please change your plans to visit Disney World where a staff of thousands will clean up after you.


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Thank you for taking the time to read about the adventures I take, the people I meet and the places I see.  

Please get out into the natural world and enjoy all the beauty and spender that is God's artistry...

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