Rough Ridge, at milepost 302.8, is one of several access points to the 13.5-mile Tanawha Trail, which runs along the ridge above the Parkway from Beacon Heights to Julian Price Park, looking out over the dense forests to the east. Another good hiking destination is the Linville Gorge Wilderness, at milepost 316.4, a couple of miles outside Linville Falls village. There are two main trails; one is a steep, 1.6-mile round-trip climb to the top of the high and spectacular Linville Falls themselves. Breathtaking views from either side of the gorge look down 2000ft to the Linville River below. An easier walk leads to the base of the falls. You can also climb Hawksbill or Table Rock mountains from the nearest forest road, which leaves Hwy-181 south of the village of Jonas Ridge (signposted “Gingercake Acres”, with a small, low sign to Table Rock).
Linville Falls Campground
Gurney Franklin Rd, via Hwy-221 828 765 2681, linvillefalls.com. This friendly campground in amiable Linville Falls village is shaded by mountain laurel and offers laundry facilities, grills and hot showers. Open May–Sept. $20
Linville Falls Lodge
48 Hwy-183 800 634 4421, linvillefallslodge.com. Peaceful, family-owned mountain lodge with nine cosy quarters and a restaurant, Spears Grill, which serves microbrews and good country cooking, including fresh trout and hickory-smoked pork BBQ. Open April–Nov. $95