Appalachian Trail: Pump Gap Loop Trail is a 3.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Hot Springs, North Carolina that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and trail running and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
Wooded up hill hike that eventually connects with AT and Lovers Leap. This is a 3.5 mile somewhat strenuous hike. From the trail head, hike east while following the orange blazes.There is a camp ground (Silvermine) on your right as you begin the hike. The first mile is a gradual up hill. The 2nd mile is almost straight up hill until Pump Gap intersects the Appalachian Trail This is an elevation gain of 1,000 ft. At the AT, turn right or hike west. This is a nice, relatively flat one mile section that follows a ridgeline. depending on the time of year, you can hear and see the French Broad River to your left. Just before heading downhill on the AT, there is a very nice over look above Hot Springs. From this over look stay on the AT until it intersects Lovers Leap Trail. Take this last 1/2 mile straight down hill until it intersects with the Silver mine service road. Turn left on Silver mine back to the cars.
This trail has no views, but it's a good walk in the woods, with some uphill intervals that make for a decent workout.
Great hike took about 3 hours round trip. Some beautiful views. You can start right from the town of hot springs and anyone in the town can give you directions to the trailhead. I think it is one of the best hikes if your staying in hot springs. Enjoy