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Tough trail, quiet a bit of an incline and very rocky. However, totally worth the view!

Byron-Reece to Freeman and then up the backside of Blood Mountain via the AT is the easier direction of travel. As other reviewers say, this is a challenge and took a solid 5 hours with stops for pics and lunch, but it’s a great hike in the fall/winter. Trekking poles will make life easier. Be sure to head east on the AT for about 100 yards at the intersection of Byron-Reece and Freeman to see the balancing boulder.

This is one of my N Ga favorites. Great views at the top, rugged trails, and always a few other happy hikers! All the trails are well marked and easy to follow, but it’s not just a nature walk so be prepared.

The day was fogged in, so unfortunately we didn’t get any of the awesome vistas. But we could imagine them. We did however still have a great hike. The leaves are gone at the upper elevations now but there is color (every shade of green) in the moss, ferns, and undergrowth. Still quite amazing. I’d rate the trail as moderate, and found it a nice leisure hike. We stopped at the shelter for a bite to eat and were greeted by a die and two fawns grazing in the reeds in front of us. That was our ‘10’, along with the shades of green undergrowth. We decided to head back from there since there was no expected view from Charlie’s Bunyan ; we’ll be back on a clear day. I rated 5 stars as I didn’t want to down rate it for the weather. This has all the makings of an awesome trail.

Hiked this past weekend, super crowded day on the AT. Lots of people at all the overlooks. Looped back on the Freeman Trail which was far less populated.

Worth the hike. The view is something from a lord of the rings movie making it very rewarding from the climb up. The horses are beautiful. It has became a yearly visit from PA.

decent hike up. keep making lefts. at one point there's a sign for parking or Trail and if you go right you'll be going down the mountain around another side. it does have an awesome panoramic view at the top which is well worth the hike.

Fantastic trail with varying terrain and scenery. I love taking landscape photographs and my only “complaint” would be every expansive vantage point was inhibited by fauna (I wasn’t even going that wide at 24mm).

From our campsite in Vogel we tracked this as 8 miles. After the first mile it is all uphill to Blood Mountain. If you are used to hiking elevation it is not bad, if not it will be a challenge. The view at the top is beautiful. You hike a combination of the Bear Hare, Coosa, Duncan Ridge and AT trails. Favor left on the way up and right on the way down but it is marked well.

Great view, quick hike, will get rather crowded on the weekends. Trail is pretty moderate, but gets a little steep towards the top but nothing too challenging.

Decided to go to Linville Gorge for our first ever hiking/camping trip and we were not disappointed! Ended up hiking Hawksbill twice in one evening, the second time to set up camp on top to make sure we caught the spectacular sunrise in the morning. Definitely worth the second trip and 30 degree night!

One of the first hikes I did of the weekend! It was definitely a challenge and pretty long but well worth the hike up! Weather was beautiful, part of the mountains were frosted off from the sun not hitting them just yet. The views are to die for! Keep your speed steady.

Great trail. Not too difficult with one of the best views in all of NC. Multiple vantage points at the top.

Really worth it when you see the view! Kids might think this is “moderate” but this old dude w bad knees and a pacemaker says it is most definitely worthy of a “hard” rating! But a great hike!

Awesome trail. The views are excellent. We did the full loop clockwise, which I would highly recommend. Going down into the gorge was very steep and rock filled. The gorge itself was lovely, and the river was flowing pretty strong. The way back up to the rim was not near as steep as the descent (again why I would recommend clockwise). Overall a good challenge but very doable if you are active.

Location
The trailhead starts in the Newfound Gap Overlook parking lot. It's on the left side right next to the bathrooms! It is labeled Appalachian Trail. Nothing about Charlie's Bunion is listed.
About 1.5 miles in there is a spit in the trail. Go left!
Still no mention of Charlie's Bunion haha.

Splits in the trail
Whenever there is a split in the trail choose the Appalachian Trail side. I believe the next split is at mile 3 or so. Choose to go right there.


Views
On your way to the Bunion you have lots of views and even a chance to check out a shelter. Be mindful of thru hikers who may be using that as a resting spot.


The Bunion is better than any picture so hike it yourself! We even did a shoot off to the Jump Off and wow!!!

Moderate is right
We were exhausted from the constant climb up to the Bunion and are legs were sore Dr the long walk back down (burning calves). Moderate is an accurate listing for this trail. Not super technical, but definitely a work out.

Time it right
We got on the trail around 7:30 and had it mostly to ourselves. We passed at least 50 hikers on our way down though, so get there early!

Conditions
It is wet/icy and VERY windy!

A lot of incline but the views were incredible. We started around 12pm and there was a little bit of ice on the trail but overall a great hike.

Beautiful trail. Once you hit the half way mark I would rate it as difficult. Be ready to breathe hard but the view is worth it!

Heavy low cloud cover today obstructed the view at the top. However, a few peeks into the valley floor revealed brilliant fall colors.

Nice hike up to Sitting Bear rock. Made it half way up to Sitting Bear peak but decided to turn back due trail being covered with fallen leaves which along with the steepness made footing to slippery. Headed back to Hawksbill which is always and enjoyable hike. The color in the gorge was nice. Also the screaming jets were and added bonus.

Took this hike a day after a pretty heavy rain storm. Lots of muddy places along the trail. From the base to the top is pretty much all uphill. The last quarter to the top is extremely uphill. The views at the top are fantastic! You can see Table Rock, Linville Gorge and Lake James. It was an overcast day, but the view was still amazing.

This hike was very interesting. It felt longer than what is actually is . We climbed the steep rock part which is basically the end of the hike but when you come to it there’s a trail to the right that takes you to the top as well and is easier! We took that’s one going done and it was easy. A little muddy but worth it. . We did professional photography at the top and the views are incredible! We went in late October and at the top it was very very windy and freezing but worth it . Definitely wanna do this again in earlier fall

This is such a fun trail! I started off at 8:30am on a weekday, went up seeing only maybe 3 or 4 other people, and had the Bunion to myself for a good 20 minutes. The view is absolutely stunning! On the way back, I turned on to Boulevard Trail to go to The Jumpoff. The fall colors were brighter than anywhere else, and the view was definitely worth it. My GPS clocked it as 9.5 miles (and 2500 calories burned, so bring snacks to keep up your energy!)
I wear trailrunning shoes, and found most of the trail pretty easy to navigate. Definitely wear appropriate shoes; running shoes are not gonna be a good idea. By the time I got back to Newfound Gap, it was busy with lots of people heading up.

I must say this was a beautiful yet challenging hike. I started on BR trail to Freeman then AT and back in 7.33 miles and right under 4 hours. I was all alone until the rest shelter on Blood Mountain. It was very rocky yet breathtaking. I would do it again but go AT to Freeman. Give it a whirl!

This was a great hike. The ending was epic! So glad we did it!

Hiked this on 10/21 with my husband. It was definitely a challenge for both of us, but the views at the top made it absolutely worth it. There was a lot of temperature change on the way up and down so packing layers is a must. Give yourself at least 6 hours for this hike. The trail itself is straightforward and easy to follow on the way up, but on the way down it is easy to take the wrong trail when passing by campsites as there are sometimes multiple trails leading off. I’m surprised this trail isn’t more popular because it was definitely one of my favorites, but no complaints because we had the summit to ourselves for over a half hour!

Awesome hike! But very busy, we had to pass and stop for people coming the other way quite often. The scenery was beautiful and the view at the end was worth it. The trail was rocky with lots of roots so you have to watch your footing!

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