3 days 2 nights in the Linville Gorge – Pisgah National Forest, NC.
On first day we arrived at the Info Cabin at approximately 0830 to pick up permits for camping in the Wilderness area. We arrived early enough that we were the first in line when the cabin opened at 1000. All 15 permits for the weekend were gone within 10 minutes, so make sure you get there early.
We then took HWY 183 to 181 to get around the north side of the Gorge. Turning right onto Gingercake road. Gingercake road is paved for the first couple of miles, but then we had about 10 miles of dirt country roads to traverse before arriving at the Table Rock parking lot.
Our campsite was located just a couple minutes up the hill from the Table Rock parking lot, giving us great access to the car and facilities. We chose this site because it had easy access to a couple hiking trails that the children could try and there was a ton of room to run around. I think that this site might get a little crowed during peak times or when permits are not required. As for this trip, we practically had the site to ourselves. There were a number of people camping in the picnic area, even though I don’t believe this is normally allowed.
On the first day we hiked up towards the Chimneys, though just short of where you climb through the rock arch. It didn’t seem too difficult for the children and they were able to get some spectacular views of the Gorge.
On the second day, before setting off to the Linville Caverns, we decided to climb up the Mountain to Sea Trail towards the Table Rock summit. We made it as far as the start of the Little Table Rock trail, which again provided some nice views of the Gorge for everyone. We filled the rest of the day by seeing the more touristy side of the Gorge. We hit up the Caverns for a tour, lunch at Louise’s Rock House, Wiseman’s View, and finally the Linville Falls.
After another night at our campsite we wrapped up a perfect family vacation and headed home.