Hawksbill Mountain Trail

MODERATE 307 reviews
#5 of 150 trails in

Hawksbill Mountain Trail is a 2.1 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Newland, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from May until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
2.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
659 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

Enjoy a quick 2-mile round trip that climbs over 600 feet feet through rhododendron to a craggy summit and 360 degree views of Linville Gorge and Pisgah National Forest. 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! The short hike is strenuous with a climb of nearly 700 feet gain in elevation. After hiking Hawksbill, drive about five miles down the road to the trail to the top of Table Rock Mountain, the other dominant peak on the rim of Linville Gorge. You can see both of these peaks from the panoramic perch at Wiseman's View on the other side of the Gorge (near the trail to Linville Falls.) The trail to the summit of Hawksbill begins from the parking area on a unpaved Pisgah National Forest service road. After about an half mile, the summit trail turns left just before reaching the Jonas Ridge Trail (it's an obvious turn with a sign). From here, the summit trail gets progressively rockier and, after 1/4 mile, arrives at the ridge. Just before you reach the ridge, the hike splits. Either trail will take you to the top. The trail to the right is longer and more gradual. Go straight for a short, steep climb. At the top (at a popular camping spot), go to the right for the best views. Go to the left for a better view of Table Rock.

hiking
2 days ago

Best view you will see in North Carolina!! Relatively easy hike with a huge payoff. Highly recommended.

hiking
3 days ago

The end of the trail at the peak of the mountain makes the hike completely worth it! It's a gorgeous 360° view.

18 days ago

Gets a little steep at the end, but the views are so worth it! When you get to the top, head right for an awesome panoramic view of the mountains! If you go to the left, you can scramble out to some rocks for really good views of Table Rock as well! We started the hike at about 1pm and there weren’t too many people up top which was nice!

hiking
18 days ago

hiking
27 days ago

a beautiful trail (would rate as moderate) that climbs steeply at the last bit for an amazing view! to the left is a great view of table rock and lots of jagged boulders to explore. to the right is a 360 degree view of the beautiful blue ridge mountains!

hiking
29 days ago

Was a gorgeous view on top. Sure the gravel road to get there is a little sketch at times, and the hike itself gets really rocky. You'll know what I mean when you see it. Make SURE that when you get to the top, you go down BOTH trail paths. If you can't stand up, and turn 360 and see EVERYTHING with no obstructions or trees, you aren't there yet. There's a pretty awesome view of Table Rock that some might mistake for the top of the mountain. Open up your app and head back and then towards the summit for a breathtaking, and windy, view of the world.

29 days ago

Gorgeous views at the top. I was confused by the 2.1 out and back. It’s really about 1 mike up so 2 miles total with the up and back. I was glad for the map directions as you have to take a gravel road for about 3 miles to reach the trailhead.

hiking
1 month ago

Super easy and short.
Great views.
If you think this is a difficult hike you should get into shape before commenting.

hiking
1 month ago

Breathtaking 360 views atop the mountain. Definitely a hidden gem.

1 month ago

Amazing view of the valley on your left before reaching the summit on your right. When you make it to this point you’ll know what I’m talking about. Great views, good photo ops, dog friendly, and slightly difficult with a nice scramble to the top.

2 months ago

Not as easy as it sounds . I’m 66 years and it was no picnic ! Made it to the top , bring lots of water and a snack as you will need it if you are older.

hiking
2 months ago

nice quick hike! The view is amazing, great view of table rock! bring some water and it’s really fun to explore all around at the top

2 months ago

This is one of my favorite trails, starts out like is going to be super easy, then is really rocky and a lot of fun, beautiful all the way. You won't regret taking this trail!

2 months ago

My wife and I decided to hike today regardless of the rain, and Hawksbill seemed to be the place. It was muddy but one of the best short hikes ever. The trail is easy until you have to chose left or right. The "left" is rocky, and fairly steep, but so worth it. She and I are going back when it's clear...can't wait!!!

3 months ago

beautiful short hike with the most amazing views of the gorge, table rock, etc. can be combined with Jonas ridge/sitting bear if you want to make a day of it. If camping on hawksbill be prepared for A LOT of wind!!

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail with amazing views. The top half is a little steep but it offers secondary trails that make the climb easier.

hiking
3 months ago

Great trail, not very difficult. I was recovering after being sick going there, and made it. Very green. The view from the top is beautiful!

3 months ago

Great shirt trail that is challenging.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice trail easy hike out and back. 45min in and 30min out. Very good choice after 2 days of rain very little mud. Beautiful views from the top will be back.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike today despite no view from the top due to clouds. Had some great views from the lower elevations on the trail. Pretty easy hike. Last part is steep and rocky. You can camp out on the summit which is super cool. We will be back. 40min up and 30min down.

hiking
3 months ago

Had a great day on this trail. Not too long not too hard and great pay off with a beautiful view at the end.

4 months ago

Great hike. Better views.

hiking
4 months ago

do NOT pass up the opportunity to do this hike. i hike a lot and have a decent peak bagging list and this is by far one of my favorites. the views of the gorge are phenomenal. take a map and compass and check out the countless peaks which are visible from the summit

hiking
4 months ago

Absolutely amazing views 360 when you get to the top. It’s quite windy so use caution. We sat at the top to enjoy a snack before coming back down. It does get steep at the top so I’d rate it as moderate.

hiking
4 months ago

Moderate trail, worth the view at the end.

hiking
4 months ago

Wonderful views at the top!

hiking
4 months ago

Great hike overall. There were 2 parts that were a left or right decision. Both we took were left and lead us right where we needed to go. The top part is STEEP and I mean steep, but the view is so worth it all. I would definitely go back and do it again. It was very windy on the top of the mountain and was colder than the bottom. I’d recommend a little jacket.

hiking
4 months ago

Awesome trail with even better views, got steeper near the top but wasn’t that bad. Accidentally came to a fork in the trail, after you stay left, and went the wrong way trekking down the mountainside, so don’t do that because it’s fairly steep. Short hike I’d give it a moderate rating.

4 months ago

Hit up the Ham Shop for a breakfast sandwich to-go, and enjoy this hike in the morning. This avoids any crowds and allows you to take your time and not rush, so you can take it all in and enjoy. It’s definitely intense at the top, but slower and less agile hikers can still take their time while getting to the top. The views at the peak are well worth the trip up.

5 months ago

Decent hike. Great views at the top. Table Rock summit definitely has more wow-factor.

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