Category Archive: Morganton and Marion

Hikes in the areas near Morganton and Marion. Most of these hikes are near I-40 and include trails in Wilson Creek, Linville Gorge, and the Grandfather Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest.

Dec 03 2016

Woods Mountain – Pisgah National Forest, NC

  Although sandwiched between the Blue Ridge Parkway and U.S. 221, the Woods Mountain Trail sees few travelers. There are a lot of reasons people skip right by this trail despite being part of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST). Linville Gorge lies to the east while the Black Mountains lie to the west. Both are very …

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Nov 30 2016

Jacob Fork Rim – South Mountains State Park, NC

  South Mountains State Park is a great area for exploration and gear testing in a relatively calm environment. The trails are immaculate, and are mostly former forest roads built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. There are signs and blazes everywhere, it is impossible to get lost unless you really try. There are frontcountry and backcountry options …

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Oct 25 2016

High Shoals Falls and Shinny Creek – South Mountains State Park, NC

  What do you do when the forecast is for rain and low-lying clouds all day? If you’re like me, you look for a hike featuring water. Views are secondary to the power and majesty of mountain streams and waterfalls, and no matter what the conditions you’ll be able to see these things up close. …

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Jul 30 2015

Upper Creek Falls – Pisgah National Forest, NC

  Upper Creek constitutes the western boundary of the massive Wilson Creek drainage in Pisgah National Forest. I drive by here a lot on NC-181, which climbs up the western ridges of the drainage on its way to Linville Gorge. There’s a sign for Upper Creek Falls on the highway, and I have never turned off. …

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Jun 29 2015

Devil’s Hole Trail – Linville Gorge Wilderness, NC

  Devil’s Hole lies deep within Linville Gorge, a beautiful stretch along Linville River hemmed in by steep bluffs and soaring cliffs. Most people use the Sitting Bear Trail to access the high points along Jonas Ridge, but you can also venture deep below the east rim on this rugged trail. Devil’s Hole Trail immediately …

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Jun 23 2015

Hawksbill Mountain and Sitting Bear Mountain – Linville Gorge Wilderness, NC

  While most of the trails on the west side of Linville Gorge drop deep into the canyon and eventually end up near Linville River, the east rim of the gorge features spectacular trails that lead to cliffs and mountain summits. For this hike my plan was to explore Hawksbill Mountain and Sitting Bear Mountain …

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Mar 13 2015

Mountains-to-Sea Trail to Bald Knob – Pisgah National Forest, NC

  Bald Knob and Dobson Knob loom large over Marion and the North Fork Catawba River Valley. Standing separate from Linville Gorge, these peaks feel remote despite relatively easy access. The region of the Pisgah National Forest around the North Fork Catawba River Valley is largely unknown to me. If I’m driving in this direction …

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Aug 12 2014

Pinch In and Rock Jock – Linville Gorge Wilderness, NC

  I’ve been looking to do a serious hike in Linville Gorge for a while now. Previously I’ve hiked Shortoff Mountain and the northwest section of the gorge multiple times. The southwest end boasts some serious trails that luckily form a loop. My idea was to start at Pinch In, hike down to the river and …

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