Linville River near the Blue Ridge Parkway

Linville River at the River Bend Overlook near the Blue Ridge Parkway

River Bend Overlook

At Mile Post 316, there is a road that branches off of the Blue Ridge Parkway and leads to the Linville Falls Campground and the Linville Falls Visitor Center. There are two overlooks along this road, the first being the River Bend Overlook which you reach before getting to the campground. The overlook actually consists of a short loop road with three separate parking areas along it. At one point in time each parking area allowed access to the Linville River, but today only the first parking area allows easy access. You could bushwhack your way to the water from the second parking area, but the third is completely overgrown with brush.

The Linville River is pretty, but at this pullout it is ultimately nothing more than what I would call a creek. There is nothing that makes this a “must see” as far as scenic beauty is concerned, though it may be a good place to go fishing. You can fish in all of the streams, ponds, and lakes along the Blue Ridge Parkway. See the Fishing web page for more information.

There are no trails accessible from the parking area, but if you walk out to the road and take a left, you will find the start of the Linville River Bridge Trail about 100 yards after crossing the bridge. The trailhead is on the left. I did not hike it, but supposedly it leads up to the cliffs overlooking the river, and you can get a nice view from there. However, from past experience, many of these short trails lead to nothing but overgrown areas, and it wouldn’t surprise me if this is the case here. On the positive side, the hike is less than a quarter mile, round trip, so you won’t be wasting much time if the view turns out to be a miss.

There are two picnic tables at the first parking area. These are tables only, no grills.

Linville River viewed from the River Bend Overlook just off the Blue Ridge Parkway

Linville River viewed from the River Bend Overlook just off the Blue Ridge Parkway

Midway Overlook

Midway Overlook at the Blue Ridge Parkway's Linville Falls Recreation Area

Midway Overlook at the Blue Ridge Parkway’s Linville Falls Recreation Area

This overlook is located after the Linville Falls Campground when driving towards the Linville Falls Visitor Center. There is nothing here—no views, trails, or picnic tables.

Back to the Top | Linville Falls Recreation Area

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Last updated on November 25, 2023
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