Linville Gorge, Land of the Rhododendron
Though the Linville gorge is beautiful year round, the best time to view it is during the rhododendron bloom. Every year around Mother's Day the rhododendron in the limville gorge begin to bloom lighting up the ridges of the gorge in pink flowers, bees buzzing everywhere, and peaceful spring vibes everywhere you look.
Out off all the places in the Linville gorge, my favorite place to view the rhododendron is on Hawksbill mountain! Located off of NC Highway 181, the summit is a short but steep 2.1 mile hike. This hike is steepest on the second half so make sure to wear sturdy shoes and pack lots of water. Upon reaching the top you are rewarded with 360 degree views of the Linville gorge.
The top of the mountain displays panoramic views of North Carolina and part of Tennessee, with a rough limestone terrain . Be careful as there are many cliffs, this is not a place for small children. The bare limestone makes for an extremely interesting foreground that contrasts the overgrown mountain scapes that roll for miles in the background. Make sure to check for puddles after it has rained for a chance to catch some beautiful reflections.
Even though the rhododendron are not in bloom more than a few weeks I still recommend visiting to Linville gorge as the landscape is incredible! Hiking to the top of hawksbill mountain is a great experience with an even better view. Once you reach the top you can just relax, and wait for the sunset! there is even a small camping area a short distance from the summit but you are required to have a permit to camp there. Have fun and don't forget to put the camera down and enjoy the views with your own eyes!