First we stopped at Linville Falls, which are located in the uppermost part of Linville Gorge. On numerous short trails the imposing waterfalls can be admired from different directions. After that I did a hike alone into the gorge (6km/3.73M, 420m/1380ft uphill and 250m/820ft downhill). I went down Pine Gap Trail until I reached Linville Gorge Trail, which always runs along Linville River. Following the river I reached Babel Tower, a tower-like rock bastion perched high above the river and surrounded by it on three sides. The views from there were phenomenal. I then left the gorge again steeply uphill via Babel Tower Trail. Finally we visited Wisemans View. From here we had wonderful views over almost the whole gorge. Besides R. maximum in shady places, R. arborescens in rocky areas of the riverbed and few specimens of R. pilosum, I saw especially R. carolinianum, which thrives here not only in the forest in rather loose bushes, but also colonizes the driest and most exposed rocky areas, but remains much more compact here. I wish I had been there when it was in bloom in early May.