When Sandy and I were in the cabin at Roan Mountain State Park a couple of weeks ago, we didn't hike as much as we had the year before. Not by a long shot. Maybe it was because it was a month or so later in the year, but it was hot as Hell. Maybe because the whole area was having a heat wave, so while it was 104 in cities in Tennessee and North Carolina, it reached the high 80's at Roan, and was in the 70's at night. So mostly we stayed in the shade.
One day, we drove to Linville Falls, in North Carolina. Linville Gorge is called the Grand Canyon of North Carolina. That may be a bit of hyperbole, but the falls is (are, actually, as there are a few cataracts) nature at her beautiful best.
The source of the river is on Grandfather Mountain (the highest peak in the Blue Ridge Mountains), which we visited last year.
Within the gorge, the water descends over 2000 feet.
All in all, the paths got pretty challenging, and we were beat by the time we finished. I still blame it all on the heat. But even the path up to the parking lot seemed like it was on a 60-degree plane. We got pretty winded, but so did everyone else on the path.
But when we do this again (I think it will be for the Highland Games at Grandfather Mountain. Maybe not next year, but down the pike a bit), I'd like to visit Linville Falls again.