Hiking the Hawksbill Mountain Trail

Hiking Hawksbill Mountain Trail

The Hawksbill Mountain Trail takes hikers on a short hike to a beautifully decorated rocky summit with amazing views of the Linville Gorge.

Chris & Mac of Grey Otter Outventures

Chris & Mac
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Length:  2 Miles Round Trip – (Approximate)
Trailhead(s):  Hawksbill Mountain
Elevation Gain:  660’
Trail Type:  Out & Back
Dogs:  Allowed
Difficulty:  Moderate
Permit Required?  No
Considerations:  Rocky Summit with Cliffs; Rugged Road to Trailhead
Season:  Best from Spring to Fall


Hike the Hawksbill Mountain Trail in North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest for amazing views and beautiful scenery. 


One of our favorite summer adventures in the Boone, North Carolina area is hiking the Hawksbill Mountain Trail to the summit of Hawksbill Mountain.  A typical Pisgah Forest hike, this trail has plenty of rocks and roots.  It also uses many switchbacks to help level out the grade.  Even though the last quarter mile to the summit is more strenuous, it is manageable.

Lovely vegetation that changes with the seasons enhances this hike.  In early spring the mountain wears vibrant greens.  As the days grow longer, splendid floral displays add contrast and more color.  Once the days begin to shorten, the foliage takes a breathtaking turn to sport the seasonal colors of yellow, red, and orange.

Lastly, the views from the summit are outstanding.  Hikers can peer down into Linville Gorge as well as out over the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Additionally, word has it that sunrises and sunsets over the Linville Gorge from this vantage point are spectacular.

Early Summer Flowers & Fall Colors

If you like flowers, a well timed hike on the Hawksbill Mountain Trail will blow your socks off.  Our hikes here were in mid-June.  The mountain laurel were in full bloom, as were the white rhododendron.  The scene was surreal, with the plants literally dripping with blooms.

If dazzling autumn colors are what you seek, then this hike has that as well.  Frankly, the drive to get here is stunning too.  Because planning will pay off big, pay attention to the calendar.  The colors typically start changing as soon as mid-September, generally peak around mid-October, and can continue into November.

Linville Gorge & Blue Ridge Views

If you like birds-eye views, then hike the Hawksbill Mountain Trail.  Because the summit of Hawksbill Mountain stands above the rim of the Linville Gorge, views into and along the gorge are magnificent.  On a clear day the softly flowing peaks and valleys of the Blue Ridge Mountains seem endless.  Since the peace and beauty at the summit are incredibly touching, plan to spend some time here. . . just sitting on the rocks and staring at it all.

Scroll down to learn about the GEAR WE USE and OTHER OUTVENTURES in this area.

Additional Information (Click below to follow links.)

Hawksbill Mountain Slideshow

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Gear We Use for Day Hiking

To see descriptions of the gear Chris & Mac use for day hiking, as well as links to manufacturers and retailers offering the gear for sale, please CLICK HERE.

Hiking DuPont State Forest, North Carolina

Articles About Other Regional Outventures

Click below to learn about other regional outventures in this area.

SAFETY DISCLAIMER:  The activities discussed in this website are outdoor activities and, as such, have inherent risks to which participants are exposed.  It is not the intent of this website, nor is it possible due to the variability of weather, terrain, equipment, and experience, to detail all of those risks.  The information contained in this site is informational, but not instructive nor exhaustive.  It is the sole responsibility of the user to ensure he/she is in good health, fully prepared, and fully informed as to dangers before undertaking any of the activities discussed in this website and the user does so at his/her own risk.  The user understands that by using this website he/she acknowledges and accepts all risks associated with use of information from this website and participation in any particular activity addressed herein.  Please see “Terms of Use” for additional information.

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