Hawksbill Mountain Hike in the Linville Gorge

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Hawksbill Mountain Hike in the Linville Gorge

World class views and fall color from the top of Hawksbill Mountain in the Linville Gorge.

Hawksbill Mountain Hike, Linville Gorge Western North Carolina- Tips, pictures and directions/ Running in a Skirt

Hi friends!

Ohhh… do  I have something fun for you today!  If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that the hubs and I found a new hike this weekend.  We took a leisurely drive up to the Linville Gorge area in the high mountains followed by a not so leisurely hike to the top of Hawksbill Mountain.

The views and fall color were totally worth the effort.

Hawkbill Mountain, Linville Gorge Hiking

We find the trailhead off a dirt forest service road.  It is pretty easy to find and well marked. (I’ll include specific instructions at the bottom)

Hawksbill Mountain Hike, Linville Gorge in Western North Carolina, Tips, pictures and directions!/ Running in a Skirt

It is the coldest day of the season so far, so we bundle up! I even pack gloves and an ear warming headband in my pockets.

Hawksbill Mountain Hike, Linville Gorge in Western North Carolina, Tips, pictures and directions!/ Running in a Skirt

As we start the climb up the mountain, we get sneak peaks of what our view was going to look like.  I am stoked!

Hawksbill Mountain Hike, Linville Gorge in Western North Carolina, Tips, pictures and directions!/ Running in a Skirt

The total hike, round-trip is about 1.5 miles, but feels much longer because we gain serious elevation… about 700 feet!

About half way up we see another well marked sign pointing us in the right direction.  From this point the path gets more rocky and steep.

Hawksbill Mountain Hike, Linville Gorge in Western North Carolina, Tips, pictures and directions!/ Running in a Skirt

The final push is up some big boulders.  The sky is so clear and so beautiful.  The air is perfectly crisp!

Hawksbill Mountain Hike, Linville Gorge in Western North Carolina, Tips, pictures and directions!/ Running in a Skirt

Once we catch our breath and take in the views – we are amazed!  While the Asheville area is still a few weeks away from peak color, the Linville Gorge is at absolute fall perfection.

Hawksbill Mountain Hike, Linville Gorge in Western North Carolina, Tips, pictures and directions!/ Running in a Skirt

The rocky cliffs make the perfect backdrop for the fall show.

Hawksbill Mountain Hike, Linville Gorge in Western North Carolina, Tips, pictures and directions!/ Running in a Skirt

The best view is of Table Rock in a distance.  You can hike nearby Table Rock in the same day if you like!

We got a late start in the day, so I settled for one hike… just added a little bit a zen yoga! (No judging my pose form in hiking shoes please!)

Hawksbill Mountain Hike, Linville Gorge in Western North Carolina, Tips, pictures and directions!/ Running in a Skirt

The crisp fall mountain air really makes me feel alive.

Hawksbill Mountain Hike, Linville Gorge in Western North Carolina, Tips, pictures and directions!/ Running in a Skirt

The wind is howling, but we both take our time looking around.

Hawksbill Mountain Hike, Linville Gorge in Western North Carolina, Tips, pictures and directions!/ Running in a Skirt

My favorite spot is this rock that makes you feel on top of the world.  The 360 degree views are some of the best I’ve seen in the area.  Black Balsam is the only hike I’ve done that comes close.

Hawksbill Mountain Hike, Linville Gorge in Western North Carolina, Tips, pictures and directions!/ Running in a Skirt

After spending about an hour taking it all in, we take one last glance before heading back down the mountain.

Hawksbill Mountain Hike, Linville Gorge in Western North Carolina, Tips, pictures and directions!/ Running in a Skirt

What a gorgeous hike and an amazing way to spend a day!  I am so blessed to live in the mountains!

Want to see more hikes? Check out my hiking menu at the top of my site.  It’s divided by hikes with views, hikes with waterfalls, Blue Ridge Parkway Hikes and Pisgah National Forest Hikes.  Or check out my Hiking Page to see them all!

Hawksbill Mountain Hike Information

The hike is 1.5 miles round-trip and due to the 700 foot elevation gain is rather strenuous.  The last section of the path is very rocky.  Be cautious on the way back down because it can be slick. While this hike is not super long, it is not a beginner hike.

The trail starts off the unpaved Pisgah National Forest service road 1264.  Follow the signs to Hawksbill Mountain.

Hawksbill Mountain Driving Directions

This hike is about 65 windy miles from Asheville!  It took us about an hour and a half to get there.  You can go along the Blue Ridge Parkway or take I-40 East to Marion.  Get on US Highway 221 North to Linville Falls.  Next pick up Highway 183 to Highway 181.  Go South 3 miles on Highway 181 to Gingercake Road.  There will be two intersections with Gingercake… take the second one.  A half mile down Gingercake Road, stay left on road 1264.  There will be a small sign pointing to Table Rock.  The road turns dirt in one mile.  Continue 2.8 miles to the Hawksbill Mountain parking area on left.  The service road is closed January to March.

If coming off the parkway get off on Highway 181 and  head south 4 miles.  Pick up the directions from Gingercake Road.

I’m linking this post with Jill Conyers for Fitness Friday and Annmarie for Wild Workout Wednesday.

So nice to see you today!  Stop on by tomorrow for the start of my Thanksgiving recipe ideas!  I’m taking a healthy spin on mashed potatoes!

Your turn!

Do you have fall color where you live?

Do you have a favorite hike?

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30 Comments

  1. jill conyers October 24, 2015 at 3:50 am - Reply

    Beautiful! This is the perfect time of year to go for a hike. The colors and weather make hiking amazing right now.
    jill conyers recently posted…7 Ways To Run FasterMy Profile

  2. Jess @hellotofit October 23, 2015 at 9:38 am - Reply

    Love the pictures, Julie!

  3. Andrea October 23, 2015 at 8:13 am - Reply

    Hiking in the fall with the leaves turning colors is my favorite time to get on the trail. Also, I made your butternut squash soup in my neglected crockpot and it was great!!!
    Andrea recently posted…American Sailing Tours BaltimoreMy Profile

    • JulieWunder October 24, 2015 at 10:35 am - Reply

      Awesome! That’s a yummy recipe. I’m so glad you liked it!

  4. Mary Beth Jackson October 22, 2015 at 6:46 am - Reply

    Amazing! Definitely worth the drive, I agree!!! Looks like it was a perfect weather day too! The last hike I did was outside of Phoenix and I loved it!
    Mary Beth Jackson recently posted…Your Alter Ego?My Profile

    • JulieWunder October 24, 2015 at 9:48 am - Reply

      I bet that was gorgeous too! Hope you are having a good weekend!

  5. [email protected] October 21, 2015 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    Beautiful pics! At first I was thinking only 1 1/2 miles doesn’t sound like much, but like you said when u factor in the elevation and the mixed terrain I am sure it was a challenge but so worth it when you got to the top.
    [email protected] recently posted…Fitness BlingMy Profile

    • JulieWunder October 24, 2015 at 9:45 am - Reply

      That’s what I thought when I read about the hike… but it was really uphill and climbing at some points… so that made it tougher. A lot of the hikes are a little more gradual.

  6. Farrah October 21, 2015 at 8:06 pm - Reply

    Ahh! What a gorgeous place! 😀 I haven’t gone hiking since August, but I feel like I should probably try to do that again sometime! (It’d be nice to throw in a hike at least every season while I’m traveling! 😛 ) I love all the fall colors, and will definitely be checking out your hiking page so I can figure out where the hecks to go when I’m in NC in a couple weeks!

    • JulieWunder October 24, 2015 at 9:44 am - Reply

      It’s such a pretty time here!!! I owe you an e-mail 🙂

  7. Runaway Bridal Planner October 21, 2015 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    Absolutely stunning! Look at all those amazing colors, love them!
    I do miss visiting back east during the fall, you guys have so many tree’s, so beautiful!
    I love hiking, and fall hiking! Our mountains are just about finished with all their fall leaves, we had a storm last week that I can tell looking out my window at the mountains most the leaves were blown from the trees:) But finally, they are starting to change in my yard:)
    Your pictures, make me really want to go out hiking, I really need to see about doing that this weekend if I can! Thanks for sharing, looks like a fabulous hike!
    Runaway Bridal Planner recently posted…Run up the “Rocky Steps”My Profile

    • JulieWunder October 24, 2015 at 9:42 am - Reply

      Thanks! It’s such a pretty time of year to get out. We had a storm early on in the process and it hampered the color this year 🙁 Mother nature needs to get with the program!

  8. Janelle @ Run With No Regrets October 21, 2015 at 11:47 am - Reply

    Your hiking photos are amazing! Absolutely gorgeous. I’m hoping my boyfriend will be able to make a weekend trip to see some great foliage before it’s all gone!
    Janelle @ Run With No Regrets recently posted…Annapolis Half Marathon Training RecapMy Profile

    • JulieWunder October 24, 2015 at 9:41 am - Reply

      That would be great! I hope you get to do it!!!

  9. Nicole @ Fitful Focus October 21, 2015 at 11:26 am - Reply

    That looks so beautiful! I’m so jealous of all the hiking trails you have. NYC needs to get some haha
    Nicole @ Fitful Focus recently posted…Booya! Get My 4-Week Workout Plan!My Profile

    • JulieWunder October 24, 2015 at 9:40 am - Reply

      Haha!!! Yes– but you have all the shopping 🙂

  10. Rachel @ RachelMcMichael.com October 21, 2015 at 10:06 am - Reply

    Wow!! That view is AMAZING!!! I absolutely love fall – especially those trees with the bright yellow leaves and the ones with the bright red leaves. On a crisp fall day there’s nothing more spectacular!
    Rachel @ RachelMcMichael.com recently posted…Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bites Featuring Might Nut {Giveaway}My Profile

  11. [email protected] the Long Way Home October 21, 2015 at 9:03 am - Reply

    Wow, what a stunning hike! And your picture of tree pose is absolute perfection! You are so lucky to live near such a beautiful place.
    [email protected] the Long Way Home recently posted…Heavy Medal DeprivationMy Profile

  12. Annmarie October 21, 2015 at 8:44 am - Reply

    Every single time you share one of your hikes I want to up and move to NC and pick up a hiking habit! Thanks so much for linking up and sharing 🙂
    Annmarie recently posted…Motivation Tips for Early Morning WorkoutsMy Profile

    • JulieWunder October 21, 2015 at 9:15 am - Reply

      There is a new adventure anytime you want one! I feel very lucky I accidentally ended up here 🙂

  13. Wow love all the fall colors! Looks like a beautiful place to spend the day
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…The Husband Project-October UpdateMy Profile

  14. Dan Steadman October 21, 2015 at 8:10 am - Reply

    a little fall color here in SC…me personally, I LOVE Graveyard Fields to the ridge and back down along the MST….as a family, we’ve done not nearly as many as we would like….but our favorite is our next one

    • JulieWunder October 21, 2015 at 8:30 am - Reply

      Haha! Yeah– I have that opinion sometimes 🙂 I always love the one I’m on!

  15. Blane Sherer October 21, 2015 at 6:19 am - Reply

    Beautiful pictures ! Love the mountains especially in the fall.
    Thanks for sharing ( smile ).

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