FKT: Tim Nooney - Linville Gorge Hiking Circuit (NC) - 2024-02-17

Route variation
Wilderness Loop (22 miles)
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
3h 52m 31s
GPS track(s)

Linville is a special place in WNC. It's easily my favorite loop. Today started windy and brisk on the ridgeline and warmed up nicely beside the river. The trail conditions were spectacular except for a few downed trees on the Wilderness Trail, which came up at the flowiest sections. I used the new trail instead of the decommissioned climb. I discussed this with Ryan and Scott. The diversion extends the climb but doesn't change the character of the loop. Since it is the Forest Service's preference, future attempts can go either direction, with a preference towards the new trail. 

Scott set the bar, breaking 4 hours on the loop. It gave me the drive to head back there. I hope to see it drop below 3:45 this year and maybe aim at 3:30 within the following year. It's such a stellar loop that deserves all the love. If you need a good idea of what the trail feels like, imagine putting your hips in a dryer with a couple of bricks. The views are absolutely stellar, though.