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The southeastern portion of the Linville Gorge Wilderness Loop with spectacular overlooks.

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Point to Point

3,537' 1,078 m


1,255' 383 m


3,035' 925 m


914' 279 m



Avg Grade (6°)


Max Grade (17°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Hunting and fishing are allowed, but permits are required. Camping is permitted in the gorge, but permits are required from May 1 through October 31.


Shortoff Mountain Trail is, for the most part, a ridge trail offering spectacular views of the gorge to the north.

The trail can be accessed via Wolf Pit Trail to the south or from the Table Rock Parking Area.

Shortoff Mountain Trail is a wonderful backpacking location with ideal camping spots and unmatched scenery. As part of the Linville Gorge Wilderness Loop, this trail comprises most of the eastern portion of the loop. It's also the more clearly marked of the trails in the area, making it easier to navigate for novice hikers.

One of the most favorable campsites is at the Big Flat Rock Overlook. There is an open portion of ground ideal for multiple tents. From the campsite, campers can look out into the Gorge.

It is also quite apparent that Shortoff Mountain Trail has been a host to a number of forest fires in the past few years, providing a remarkable hike amongst scorched trees.

This trail is also part of the Mountains to Sea Trail (MST). For more information concerning the MST, please refer to ncmst.org/. At the end of the trail, hikers can head north towards Shortoff Mountain and Table rock Mountain or south towards the Linville River.

Flora & Fauna

Local flora - rhododendron, sand mrtyle, red chokeberry, azalea, turkey beard, bristly locust, yellow root, silverbell, orchids, ninebark, and wild indigo.

Local fauna - white-tail deer, black bears, squirrel, raccoon, grouse, turkey, vultures, owls, and hawks. As for snakes, there are copperheads and timber rattlesnakes.


Shared By:

Max Willner

Trail Ratings

  4.9 from 22 votes


  4.9 from 22 votes
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Trail Rankings


55 Views Last Month
20,002 Since Nov 29, 2015



Tablerock Mountain (to the right) from Shortoff Mountain.
Dec 2, 2015 near Glen Al…, NC
Enjoy a beautiful view of where the gorge carves through the mountains by sitting on one of the cliff edges along the Shortoff Mountain Trail.
Feb 4, 2017 near Spruce…, NC
I awoke to one of the most beautiful views the first morning of our hike. I sat in the hammock and took it all in as I watched the sun rise over the horizon!
Feb 4, 2017 near Glen Al…, NC
Watching a mixture of fog and clouds dissipate as the sun rises above Linville Gorge. Those rolling clouds get misty - bring a rain jacket!
Nov 20, 2015 near Spruce…, NC
The path behind Big Flat Rock Overlook that takes adventurous hikers up and over the campsite.
Dec 2, 2015 near Spruce…, NC
The occasional river crossing is necessary - be sure to bring trekking poles and a waterproof bag!
Nov 20, 2015 near Glen Al…, NC


Current Trail Conditions

Add Your Check-In


Aug 15, 2023
Andy Thorsell
Out and back, starting at Wolf Pit. Rained early am, made for a very wet hike. 15.4mi — 4h 55m
Nov 23, 2022
Brian Hindman
Beautiful sunny and clear November day with high temp of 64 degrees.
Dec 17, 2021
Tricia Jones
Jun 19, 2021
Dan Crompton
Did trail as an out and back from top to bottom to top 15.4mi — 7h 07m
Feb 28, 2021
Private User
Sep 4, 2020
Chris C
Clear skies, dry trail, beautiful!