Monday, June 1, 2015

Linville Falls - Little Switzerland


I got up early this morning and did some computer work for my previous employer. Once Connie had gotten up, we decided to go over to Linville Falls and do a hike today. Our friends, Fred & Bonnie, had done this walk last week and told the views of the fall were nice. Before we left, Connie received a phone call from one of her high school classmates that her husband (who had also gone to high school with Connie) had passed away recently of liver failure. It is always sad when someone you know dies, but when they are the same age as you it makes your realize our time is limited.

It took about 30 minutes for us to drive over to the parking area for the Linville Falls trail. From the parking lot we walked up the road 0.6 miles to the information center (which was closed) to use the restrooms and then walked back to the trailhead. We started down the trail and commented that it would be the uphill on our way back.

Connie being swallowed up by tree roots along the trail
There was three different areas to view the falls along the trail. The first was call the Upper Overlook where you saw a small falls up stream and then could look over the larger falls.

View of the smaller falls up stream
Here is a view overlooking the larger falls.

From there we walked further along the trail to the Chimney View Overlook. The steps down to this overlook were very steep and you have to be careful not to fall. We took our time going down and coming up since part of the steps were still wet from the rain last night.

View down the canyon below the falls
The trail continued down to the last stop, the Erwin Overlook. While we were there we talked to a couple of gentlemen from Georgia (their wives had decided not to walk the trail) who agreed to take our picture.

Erwin Overlook at the end of the trail
We then made the trek back to the parking area where we had parked the Jeep.

Connie taking a break on the uphill trail back to the parking lot
We calculated that the entire walk including the trek up to the information center was about 3 miles. It was slow walking with all of the tree roots along the trail and with certain parts of the route being wet from the rain.

Leaving the Linville Falls trail, we headed up the Blue Ridge Parkway towards Little Switzerland. There are a number of overlook pull off spots along the highway.

View of the Blue Ridge Mountains
Once we reached Little Switzerland we stopped Switzerland Cafe where Connie had the Pulled Pork BBQ lunch while I had a Spinach & Feta Cheese Quiche with a cup of soup. There is not much to Little Switzerland: some Inns and restaurants, some with a view and some without. It was not what we were expecting which was a quaint little town on the side of a mountain.

Switzerland Cafe
We came back to the campground along the Blue Ridge Parkway to US Hwy 80. We had thought the the parkway was a road with a lot of curves, but it was nothing compared to US Hwy 80. It is one road that does not have a straight section anywhere along this part of the highway.

I did some more work for the office and then we visited with a few campers from the Reunion Rally who had moved across the street to the regular campground (we are still camped at the Rally Section of the campground with two other RV's). It started to rain again and we retired to The Duchess.