A Day of Hiking

I began the day at Carver’s Gap on Roan Mountain with the intent to hike a few miles on the Appalachian Trail, which crosses the Balds. I arrived at six in the morning and started the ascent cloaked in fog.

As I hiked through the moss and fern-laden forest leading to the grassy balds, I was hopeful that the fog and cloud cover would lift in a couple of hours so that I could enjoy the panoramic views on my descent.

After three hours, it became obvious that the cloud cover would likely remain for the rest of the day. I returned to my car and left Roan Mountain to drive to Linville Falls. I stopped to take some photos of the waterwheel at the Welcome Center at Roan Mountain State Park.

By the time I arrived at the trailhead for the falls, I had shed a few layers of clothing and left my backpack in the car. It wasn’t even fifty degrees at the top of Roan Mountain, but it was much warmer in Linville. I proceeded to hike four of the trails leading to different views of the falls.

Linville Falls has the highest volume of any waterfall on the Northern Edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is the most popular waterfall because of its accessibility to the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is a spectacular three-tiered waterfall plunging into Linville Gorge, the “Grand Canyon of the Southern Appalachians.” The falls move in several distinct steps, beginning in a twin set of upper falls, moving down a small gorge, and culminating in a high-volume 45-foot (14 m) drop. It is named for the Linville River, which goes over the falls. The Falls Trail distance is 1.6 miles round trip and easy. The Gorge Trail distance is 1.4 miles round trip and strenuous. The Plunge Basin Trail is a 1-mile round trip and moderate.

It was a splendid day, and I met many delightful people from all over the USA while I hiked.

I’m happy to announce the winner of your choice of rattan earrings from Beauty in Stone Jewelry is BJ Collier. Congratulations BJ!

(Use the code SAS10 For $10 off any one item at Beauty in Stone Jewelry.)

The shopping links on my site sometimes allow me to earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

77 Comments
  1. Roan Mountain has such iffy weather – I’ve been miserable there many times! You’re brave to give it a try, though, and my hat’s off to you, Susan. But, if you have to have a fallback plan, Linville Falls is the way to go. Thanks for the gorge -ous photos.

  2. Looks like total bliss! Wish I was there with you.
    Currently, we are at 109° and will be over 115° by mid-week. Yikes!
    This is really crazy weather for us, as we live up in the mountain of NE Washington state. Looks like it’s going to be another bad fire year.
    Stay safe everyone and just say no to the fireworks!
    P.S. Amazon’s Mens Fleece vests are awesome. Big pockets, nice fleece and inexpensive. I have 8 of them! Not wearing those for awhile!!!

  3. Hola Susan.
    Qué ruta tan preciosa. Me gustan especialmente las rutas acompañadas de agua. Tienes mucha suerte de vivir cerca de ellas y poder disfrutar de una vegetación tan exuberante. Gracias por compartirla.

  4. How do you dare to hike alone? You’re fearless and amazing! I’ve been on that hike! It’s beautiful!

  5. You sure will sleep well tonight after all that exercise! Would the Susan from “Fifty Not Frumpy” hiked?

    1. I have loved hiking and roaming the woods since I was five years old. Yes, Susan from “Fifty Not Frumpy” hiked, camped in a tent, kayaked, mountain biked, and enjoyed working hard in my flower gardens and yard.

  6. Congratulations to BJ Collier winning the beautiful earrings! And, thank you Susan for sharing these absolutely gorgeous photos of your hike. I was wondering if you ever have fans recognize you on any of your hikes. That would surely be a special treat for them.

  7. Very interesting post….thank you for putting links that led to maps and more pictures. I was very interested and wanted to locate the place you hiked on a map. I did not realize I spent about an hour enjoying reading more about the Linville Falls and details about the trails you hiked.
    I enjoy the comments about the clothing and accessories you discuss in your post but also the connection you have with nature. Comments about eating healthy and physical activity in your post are also very informative. You have a good eye with a camera.
    I am disappointed that more people did not comment.

  8. Fabulous images! Love your hat and your walking stick. How do you avoid ticks? Do you wear any tick repellent?

  9. What beautiful countryside! Quite different forest from anything in New Zealand. Thank you for sharing with us. Can anyone else see a womans face profile in the rocks where the water plunges down the chasm? Eleventh photo down on my phone.

  10. Love these posts of your trips and days out. When you go out and about and share the photos it means that I down here in New Zealand can see a completely different view of America than we see on the news and super touristy sites. Who knows – when the world gets back to normal I might get to see of these lovely places for myself.

  11. Dear Susan,
    Admire how you dress for a woman of a certain age. You’ve previously posted about what you wear to do errands during cooler weather. Can you please discuss what you wear to grocery shop on a hot Summer day? Jeans can be uncomfortable; shorts expose thighs with marks & verified veins.
    Thank you!

  12. I have hiked the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, the El Camino de Santiago (six weeks), the Cotswold Way, and am headed to Ireland for a trek in August. I find that leggings are the best bottoms for hiking. There’s no chance of chafing or rubbing, and it’s easy to pull rain gear over them. They also aren’t bothersome if it drizzles or if I perspire too much.

  13. Beautiful scenery, after scrolling through your pictures several times I feel like I’ve been there this morning! Thanks Susan.
    Kathy

  14. Beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing. It is a pretty place. I’ve been there before and also hiked a bit on the Appalachian Trail.

  15. In case of injury, I hope you have a hiking buddy. Although you most likely do have your phone on you. This is the voice of experience talking.

  16. Did you have your camera in a Fanny pack how did you carry that without it being a bulky burden when hiking? Love the photos gives me ideas for future hikes and it seems the ticket is to go super-early in the day while it’s cool to really enjoy!

  17. Susan, do you ever worry about your safety hiking alone or do I watch too many crime shows? Lol
    Your pictures are so interesting.

    1. I wasn’t really alone. There were young people and older couples all around. I will not put myself in danger, but I am often alone when I hike or travel.

  18. I’m so encouraged by seeing the activities you pursue! I agree with others commenting about the fact that you hike alone.
    You’re amazing and help me to be more confident about hiking alone and traveling alone.

  19. Are you skeptical to hike by yourself? I would love to hike in some areas, of Ohio, but I do not feel comfortable doing it alone. I do travel alone, quite often. Any helpful hints for hiking alone?
    Janet

    1. Take your weapon of choice and bear spray. Hike in areas where there will be other people and where you know the area very well. I often see women of all ages hiking alone. Tell someone where you are going and when you plan to be back. You can take your phone with you, but it will not always work in remote areas.

      You can live your life on your terms and get out and enjoy it, or you can sit home alone. I choose to get out and do everything I want to do while I am healthy enough to do it.

  20. Gorgeous area! I’m so glad you are feeling like your vigorous self. I hike a lot too in the Pacific Northwest. It was wonderful to see your part of the country.

  21. Love your sense of adventure and independence! And big KUDOS to those who built steps and put rails on trails for us!! I always think and thank those who went before us and figured out how to lay stones and make smooth pathways for us. Bravo to them!

  22. Wherever you go, there you are. You’re just so comfortable in the woods, or on a beach, or in an elegant restaurant, and you always wear the perfect attire for any occasion.

    These are spectacular pictures of Linville Falls, Susan. Some of the most beautiful I have ever seen. I hope you have plans to do a photography book one day.

    Thanks for sharing your adventure through beautiful pics and descriptive words.

  23. Thanks for updating us on your travels. Don’t be afraid to GO, DO. Then show us. I love it. Congratulations to the winner.

  24. What a beautiful area! I live in Colorado, so hiking has been a way of life for me. Getting out early on a beautiful trail is so refreshing!

  25. We are going RV camping at Roan Mountain a few days the last half of August! Could only get 4 nights so we will stop at David Crocket Birthplace State Park before and Warriors Path State Park after Roan Mountain. My brother lived in Elizabethton in the mid 70’s after graduating from UT and we loved visiting him and going to Roan Mountain but never been while the Rhododendrons were blooming! On my Bucketlist!

  26. Thank you for sharing your day trip. Fondly reminds me of the many hikes hubby and I made in The Great Smokey Mts park back in the late 90s. We’d always rent a cabin in Townsend. I hear the highway thru town has changed considerably…

  27. Dearest Susan Thank you so very much for sharing your hike & day with us. Such a delight also for those who are not able to travel or walk long distances. You looked gorgeous …even in hiking gear. Much love & again a big thankyou it was so special. Kind regards Margie xx (Australia)

  28. We love Linville Falls. We started going as a family back in the 1980s. The area is still just as beautiful.

  29. Beautiful photos of what looks like a lovely area. One day…
    I have tramped quite a bit (with large pack, tent, sleeping bag etc) and have found the best leg covering to be a pair of polypropylene leggings with loose cotton drill shorts on top. Maintains dignity while protecting your legs from sun, scratchy plants and insects that bite. The leggings dry very quickly if they get wet too.

  30. Love the photos, must admit I’m a fine weather walker, & lucky to live within 10 mins walk of the beach. Really enjoy your post, from across the pond.

  31. Thank you for sharing your fabulous views of the AT. I’ve been walking the the AT virtually. I started in August in North Carolina . I’m 94% complete and well into Maine. I still have 185 miles to go. I enjoy your experiences of living close to the AT and being in Tennessee, my husband’s home state.

  32. Hi, Lovely Pictures Susan, and lovely walks that must keep you very fit. I live in the country in England and have lovely walks near by. we are very lucky to live in the countryside.

    Best wishes… Gina Van Dyke.

  33. I love your hiking pictures Susan. It looks like a wonderful way to spend a day and get a large dose of serenity. Hiking for me now is spotty due to our extreme Arizona heat, but come fall I’m out a lot. Thanks

  34. Susan , the photographs that you took and shared are breathtaking. Thank you. And thank you so much for continuing to share your posts with us. I look for you every day.

  35. Good Morning Ms. Susan,
    Thank you for sharing your hiking adventure. Wow what gorgeous trails you hiked.
    The pictures you took are outstanding, you captured the beauty perfectly.
    Sending smiles your way,
    Katherine

  36. Susan, I have to say your hikes inspire me. It’s good for the body and soul to get out and exercise ….flowers and trees are beautiful. You pointed out that that you are active because you can. Dispite my arthritis and aches I am glad that I can too! So…I better get moving. Thanks!

  37. Thanks for sharing your hikes with us. The sights are truly lovely.
    Would love to do this one hike one day.

  38. I am so glad that you share your jaunts with us. So many places that I can go no longer (knee and back problems). But I enjoy your little trips from the comfort of my home. Photography used to be one of my fun activities so now it is compressed to my dog, my garden, visits to places in town that are possible. Life however is good. Thank you for these outings. Love your glasses. I need to find something similar.

  39. Susan, thank you for sharing. The photos are breathtaking and refreshing. Love the waterfalls.

    Most of all I love your quote, “I choose to get out and do everything I want to do while I am healthy enough to do it.”
    It is so inspirational and motivating. I am in my late 70’S and will live by that as well.

    Take care and stay healthy,

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I blogged for five years as Fifty, not Frumpy. Now that I am in my sixties, I am sharing ideas and inspiration for using and loving what you already have.

Thank you!
Susan

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