Cavern and waterfall hikes are the perfect pairing for a day trip, especially if you add in a scenic drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway that runs though North Carolina.
Located in the Pisgah National Forest near Marion, NC, the Linville Caverns are submerged within Humpback Mountain. Open to visitors since 1937, they were discovered by fishermen in the early 1800’s. Tour guides escort visitors though the caverns, pointing out rock formations, giving a detailed history of the caverns, and doling out interesting facts about the spider and bat populations dwelling within.
Nearby are the Linville Falls, a three tiered waterfall that pours into the Linville Gorge. There are several trails visitors can hike in the area, but the Gorge Trail offers the best views overlooking the Falls. The Linville Falls are easy to access of Blue Ridge Parkway, and if your looking for a lunch break during your trek, Spears BBQ & Grill is nearby. They offer outdoor seating and an expansive menu that includes BBQ, seafood, and vegetarian dishes.