Linville Gorge Wilderness ("The Grand Canyon of North Carolina") which comprises almost 12,000 acres around the Linville River. The river is approximately 1400 below which makes for strenuous and very challenging hikes. Of the four gorges in the Carolinas, this is the only gorge without a road in the bottom. I have hiked many trails within the gorge and it just keeps you coming back because of the beauty and ruggedness of every trail. This is not over populated because many of the gravel roads surrounding this area are not well maintained. Don't miss an opportunity to visit the Gorge if you are passing through Western NC.