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Wiseman's View (Brown Mountain Lights Overlook)

Newland, North Carolina 28647 USA

Free to Visit
Open Now
Thu 12a-11:59p
  • Independent
  • Pet Friendly
  • Wheelchair
  • No Public
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“Linville Fall's legendary Brown Mountain lookout”

Sitting 1500 above the Linville River in Pisgah National Forest, Wiseman's View offers an incredible glimpse of North Carolina's most spectacular mountain vistas. The Brown Mountain Lights are a series of ghost lights reported near Brown Mountain in North Carolina. The lights can be seen from the Blue Ridge Parkway overlooks at Wiseman's View, mile posts 310 (Brown Mountain Light overlook), and 301 (Green Mountain overlook) and from the Brown Mountain Overlook on NC Highway 181 between Morganton, NC and Linville, NC. Additionally, good sightings of the Lights have been reported from the top of Table Rock, outside of Morganton, NC. There is also a Brown Mountain Overlook on North Carolina Highway 181 that was recently improved with help from the city of Morganton for the purpose of attracting those who visit the area to see the lights. The best time of year to see them is reportedly September through early November. One early account of the lights dates from September 24, 1913, as reported in the Charlotte Daily Observer. A fisherman claimed to have seen “mysterious lights seen just above the horizon every night,” red in color, with a pronounced circular shape. Soon after this account, a United States Geological Survey employee, D.B. Stewart, studied the area in question and determined the witnesses had mistaken train lights for something more mysterious, though he was deemed incorrect after the train bridges and all electrical power was knocked out and the lights continued to appear. So far, despite all scientific research into the Brown Mountain lights, their source remains a total mystery.

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Reviewed by
Greg Newkirk

  • Expert
  • 314 Reviews
  • 375 Helpful
September 06, 2013

Spent a few days in Linville Falls awhile back while looking for the source of the Brown Mountain lights. Of all the lookouts I went to, Wiseman's View was the absolute best. It's an easy drive, and there seem to be small groups of people up there regularly well after dark, so you don't have to be too worried about being in the middle of nowhere at night.

The best part? We actually saw the weird lights!

5 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Dana Newkirk

  • Road Warrior
  • 298 Reviews
  • 377 Helpful
September 15, 2014
Rated 4.0

A group of friends and I visited the lookout at night not really thinking we were going to see anything... but we totally did. If you hang out long enough you'll see these weird wispy lights darting around the trees. It's awesome. If you do visit during the day be prepared to come across groups of guitar-strumming UFO nuts waiting around to get abducted.

2 people found this review helpful

Reviewed by
Tim Balzer

  • 81 Reviews
  • 175 Helpful
May 27, 2022

I can't stress this enough: to not try to drive to this location if your vehicle sits low to the ground. There is a pull-off that you can park at if you'd like to hike the way up. The road up is dirt/gravel and there are LARGE potholes.

1 person found this review helpful
  • 1 Review
  • 1 Helpful
August 13, 2014

This was one of the best stops on our trip! Crazy 9mile winding road to get there, but the drive was beautiful! Then we hiked to the overlook & it was amazing! When asked our two teens said this was their favorite part as well. It was their first time in the mountains & we did go to two other look out sites on our trip but this one was the best!

1 person found this review helpful

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Wiseman's View (Brown Mountain Lights Overlook)

Newland, North Carolina
28647 USA
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Open 24 hours today
  • Sun - Sat: 12:00 am - 11:59 pm

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