Table Rock and Hawksbill were our first two hikes after returning from Gloucester. Both trails are near each other, down a LONG dirt road. And I mean LONG as in over eight miles up a dirt road, driving 20(+/-) mph. Our plan of attack was to tackle Table Rock first, since it was the furthest away, so we drove, and drove, and drove. Just when we thought we were lost, there was a sign. “Table Rock Picnic Area.” And just when you think you are finished driving. No. You drive a bunch more. Finally, we reach the parking lot.
We drove this far to hike up a mile? Really?! And up we go in hopes that the view is a spectacular as we had read.
Boy, did it feel good to be back in the mountains. Nothing makes you feel like everything is right in the world quite like dirt, rocks, and trees. The trail was a bit crowded, but there were plenty of overlooks to stop and take a sneak peek of Linville Gorge.
After maneuvering around a few ‘serious’ hikers with their poles in tow, we decided it was a great trail to run. So we ran all the way to the top with relative ease.
The view was spectacular. I am a sucker for mountainous rock face landscapes. Most of the other hikers stayed on the areas close to the trail, but we ventured everywhere. If you have the opportunity to visit, I encourage you to (carefully) climb around and look out at the surroundings from all sides. Every viewpoint is different.
(The neighboring Hawksbill Mountain. And hike #2 for the day.)
(Quick rabbit hole here. . . .you know those funny moments that happen in your life and you just randomly laugh out loud about it every now and then. So one such event happened on this day. On the journey back down we were stopped by a very winded couple to ask how much further to the top. The Mr. and I looked at each other. We looked at the parking lot. We looked at each other again. “I would say judging by the fact you can still see the parking lot, about .9. Enjoy your hike!” As we were walking away, “Do you think they will make it?” I just replied with a face of uncertainty.)
After a quick run back down off the mountain, we jumped in the car and drove and drove back to the Hawksbill trail.
I don’t know if it was sore remnants from the workout the day before or whether it was because we just ran 2 miles up and down a mountain, we were already sore from a workout, and our muscles seized up in the car, or if it was all three combined with the fact that this trail was vertical. It was tough. Thankfully it was short because my legs were in a state of jello. Once we crawled to the top, we sat for a long time to enjoy the solitude of being the only people on top of Hawksbill Mountain, at the moment anyway.
(View of Table Rock.)
How To Get There:
From Boone, take Hwy 105 S to Linville. Take a right onto Hwy 221 S, then left onto Hwy 181 S. In about 3 miles, take another left to continue on Hwy 181 S. Next, turn right at the second Gingercake Road intersection. About 0.5 down Gingercake Road, stay to the left (following the Table Rock sign) on road 1264. The pavement ends in a mile. Travel about 3 miles to the Hawksbill parking area. Continue on this road for about five miles to reach the Table Rock Mountain parking lot.
(This post was originally published on our sticks or stones blog, which is no longer in publication.)