Most Amazing Mountain Gorge View in the Eastern U.S.
See unparalleled views of the Linville Gorge from Wiseman’s View, near Marion. NC. Looking down across the deepest gorge in the eastern U.S., you can clearly see the Linville River snaking through the forest 1500’ below. The trail itself is an easy, paved, 0.4-mile, handicap accessible path that even has a permanent port-o-potty-style bathroom at the trailhead. But, oh boy, the ride there is an adventure. It’s only four miles on a gravel road, but with the washouts and potholes around most turns, it seems much longer. You will need a 4×4, high off the ground, with good wheels. A Jeep, Range Rover, or F-150 will do the trick.
We have a Jeep and it was like riding a bull, so hang on (the occasional “Yehaw” allowed). I also suggest you start the drive after a bathroom break because all that bouncing will cause you to head straight for the stinky on-site unisex facility. Good news, the road conditions keep most people away, so when you arrive and walk to the two overlooks you are in for a lovely, uncrowded experience. Just sit on a step and enjoy the views. You can see Table Rock, Hawksbill, and Shortoff Mountains. The swirling rock formations on one peak are really special; I can imagine that with the winter snow it would look like frosting on a cupcake.
If you go: The road is just past the parking lot to Linville Falls, a mile off the Blue Ridge Parkway at Milepost 317.4. Note that for some reason most of the milepost markers seem to be missing, so look for a sign for Linville Falls. Of interest, night-time visitors/campers report seeing the Brown Mountain Lights from this venue. I believe the access road is closed during the winter.