The Trail
The Woods
The Mushroom Tree
The View

On the second and third of September I went camping with my grandkids in the Pisgah National Forest. The children brought their parents with them for transportation and cooking services. The campsite is backcountry camping and there are no amenities available. The campsite was situated off the gravel NC Forest Service road 210 (Table Rock Road) just across from the trailhead of the Hawksbill Mountain Trail. The short 2.1 mile hike to the summit of Hawksbill Mountain (elevation 4,009 ft) is categorized as strenuous with a climb of nearly 700 feet gain in elevation. On the first day of camping it rained and we were unable to get a fire going so we headed home leaving our tents pitched to claim our spot. Upon returning the next day we found everything dried out and the weather was sunny and light breezes of cool wind. It was the perfect camping and hiking weather.

Note: Click on the pictures for a larger view or here to scroll through the photo gallery consisting of 41 photos plus the map and 7 mushroom pictures included at the end of the album. The Photo Album will pop up in a separate window and there is a link at the bottom of the page to get back here but I suggest just closing that window. The link is provided for those who turned off allowing websites to open a separate window. These photos were taken with a Canon PowerShot A590 camera.
  • Campsite

    After we set up the campsite and began to settle in, it began to rain. The fire pit was covered by a tarp, as shown in the photo to the left, but not in time to keep the pit dry so the ‘Keeper of the Flame’ was unable to start a fire. There are no amenities available in the campground area. Gingercake Creek is the nearest water source located northeast of the campground approximately a half mile down the mountainside. The campsite is very close to the parking area so extra water is not an issue in carrying it to the campsites.

  • To the left is a photo as it began to rain and the photo below is the next day when it was sunny and things were drying out. The kids were off exploring and the parents were taking a well-deserved rest and relaxation break.

  • Campsite Trails

    There were numerous trails in the campground area that lead to other campsites. One such trail headed northeast and I believe leads to Gingercake Creek. My granddaughters and I walked down this trail for 15 minutes before we turned back to camp and noticed several more campsites further down the trail.

  • Forest Full of Mushrooms

    The forest floor was host to many species of mushrooms. I cannot remember ever seeing so many varieties of mushrooms in all my hiking trips combined. Can you identify these mushrooms? If so click on the ‘CONTACT' above in the header and send me an email with your educated guess of the species photographed. Each photo is numbered. Click on the photo to the left to view the seven mushroom photos.

  • The Hike to the Summit

    Parts of the trail to the summit were very steep and rocky. The photo to the left shows one section of the trail where you had to clamber up rocks. Each steeper section was followed by a relatively level section which made the trip to the summit less strenuous. The photos on the bottom are of a switchback. My granddaughter stands above me on the upper part of the switchback.

  • Midway Views

    At 3600 feet the trail opens up with views northward towards Sitting Bear Mountain and Gingercake Mountain. There was a flat rock outcrop you could stand on to get an unobstructed view of the mountain range.

  • Archeological Discoveries

    The children made important archeological discoveries of “caves” and rock formations along the trail. Their imaginations transformed rocky outcroppings into caves and rock formations into sculptures. The trail is lined with many interesting landscape formations that entertained the children as we climbed the steep trail.

  • View from the Top

    On the summit of Hawksbill Mountain you have a 360° view of the surrounding mountains and views of the Linville Gorge canyon, valley floor and Linville River 2000 feet below. Table Rock Mountain is pictured in the photo to the left.

  • The Linville Gorge Wilderness area covers 11800 acres that include spectacular rock formations that include Hawksbill, Sitting Bear, Table Rock and the Chimneys. The photos left and below left are looking into the canyon. Below right is a view looking over the ledge into the valley below.

  • View from the Road

    On the way back home we stopped off at an scenic overlook to see the mountain we climbed earlier. This is the view looking southwest from NC-181 state road.

  • Hawksbill Mountain Trail Map

    The map to the left can be found on AllTrails site. From the looks of the trail lines I believe it was created using a GPS system much like the maps I make with the Garmin unit I have.