Took the Roundtop Ridge trail from Reservoir Rd to just a short section on the AT, to the trail up to the Rich Mountain Fire Tower - about a 7 mile hike excluding the walk from town. The trail was fantastic, and the view from the tower was amazing. Everything at the top was covered in ice, even though the temp in Hot Springs that day was in upper 40s/low 50s. It was incredibly beautiful. Also secluded - we met no one on the trail. A very rewarding hike.
Hiked this backwards the first time, coming up counter-clockwise, then taking the AT to the Pump Gap Loop back to Silvermine Rd, then up Lover's Leap clockwise. Lover's Leap is not long enough to qualify as hard at all. It is steep, but takes only 15-20 minutes to climb. Trail was very enjoyable though, with lovely overlooks of Hot Springs and the French Broad. Combined with other trails in the area, it made for a fulfilling day hike.
This trail is a Gem located in Hot Springs, NC. We were thoroughly entertained by the constant climb and nice views of the french broad river. My seven year old was able to climb this trail so I'm surprised at the "Hard" difficulty rating. I give this trail a moderate difficulty rating, but that is not to say you won't get a workout. You will definitely need to bring water, but this trail will not let you down (no pun intended).