Nestled into the Blue Ridge Mountains, Lake James is a 6,510 acre lake in western North Carolina with 150 shoreline miles. Lake James is the first in the Catawba River chain of lakes with an elevation of 1200 feet above sea level. Although built by Duke Power to provide hydroelectric power to the surrounding region, Lake James has become one of the area's premier recreation destinations.
This hike to the summit of Hawksbill Mountain (elevation 4,009 ft) has an amazing payoff with panoramic views of the "canyon" of Linville Gorge - with the valley floor some 2,000 feet below you. On a clear day, you can even see the skyline of Charlotte - about 90 miles away!
It is named after the local settlement of African-American sharecroppers, whose homes were flooded when the Catawba River was dammed to create Lake James. The feather icon of this state trail was inspired by our national bird, the bald eagle. Artwork incorporating the feather has been used along the trail and at the trailheads, particularly in Burke County. When it is complete, the Fonta Flora State Trail will be approximately 100 miles long.
The Mountains-to-Sea State Trail is a long-distance trail for hiking and backpacking, that traverses North Carolina from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks. The trail's western endpoint is at Clingman's Dome, where it connects to the Appalachian Trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Table Rock is a mountain in the east rim of Linville Gorge, part of Pisgah National Forest. It features a distinctive rock formation, and is a prominent peak in the area. The peak makes for a quick hike from a nearby parking area, and is also very popular for rock climbing.
The Linville Gorge Wilderness is the third largest wilderness area in North Carolina and one of only two wilderness gorges in the Southern United States. Maintained by the United States Forest Service, it comprises 11,786 acres around the Linville River, and is situated inside the Pisgah National Forest.