Linville Gorge Wilderness: Bynum Bluff Trail

February 24, 2018

“The result is that to the frontier the American intellect owes its striking characteristics. That coarseness and strength combined with acuteness and inquisitiveness; that practical, inventive turn of mind, quick to find expedients; that masterful grasp of material things, lacking in the artistic but powerful to effect great ends; that restless, nervous energy; that dominant individualism, working for good and for evil, and withal that buoyancy and exuberance which comes with freedom-these are traits of the frontier…”

-Frederick Jackson Turner

In 2018 America, it is ruefully hard to live independently. Our system breeds corporate compliance. Nature is a second-hand thought. As my girls grow, it is my desire that incrementally, they will experience wilderness. They will learn that adage, that perhaps myth, that American characteristic of rugged individualism. For western North Carolina, there is no better place to start these lessons than Linville Gorge Wilderness. Known for being a place for solitude, it is more than that. It is a primitive epitome of a bygone era of frontier land. The trails are carved into a landscape that is frankly not meant for trails. Traversing them means respect for nature coupled with a determination and strength. Even on what is rightfully one of the easiest trails in the Gorge, Bynum Bluff, it is rigorous at times.

But, the beauty of it all! To let them witness a gorgeous view of a mountain river, that glimpse of the horizon, to plunge into the ferns and moss and foliage canopies, to hike to the crest of a hill under their own strength.

On a sunny, February day, it was wondrous to hike with a fellow family, a family planted in the wilderness, concerned with nature and actions and enjoy a great trail.

GPS link:

Total mileage is 3.28 miles.


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