Explore the most popular forest trails in Rich-Laurel Wildlife Area with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
29 days ago

The hike has an easy option walking along the river, which is short but beautiful. Gorgeous views and a fun walk.

I disagree with a few of the comments here. This hike is very easy, but enjoyable if you want to get a quick workout in while visiting Hot Springs. It took me about an hour to complete with my dog. The only challenge with this hike is the unmarked trails. The part of Lover’s Leap on the AT is clearly marked with white blazes, but the rest of the trail is not marked. Bring a map and a compass and you’ll be fine.

GREAT views, and a real workout once you start to climb!

hiking
1 month ago

For a shorter hike the views were amazing...

we did the pump gap loop from the Silvermine trailhead, a few hundred yards up the little road from the parking area on the river. the trail map posted there lists it as 5.6m and shows a very different trail route than what this app shows. also, this app consistently showed me well east of the route according to the map on this app. so I don't know what to think..be careful, follow the yellow blazes for the route we did, we were on trail just over 3 hrs & are average hikers at worst I'd say. update-i think what this app shows/describes is a combination of an AT section and part of the pump gap loop. be aware.

Beautiful views!

We had a little trouble finding the trailhead after we parked, but once we got going it was a real pleasure. The Pump Gap part of the trail was a little trickier—recent rains have covered the trail with some downed trees and rocks. But once we got to the AT, it was smooth and very well maintained. Took us about 1.75 hours to complete the loop. Recommended!

Loved the hike, great views

backpacking
7 months ago

Had a really fun time with my 9 year old and my dog here. Climbing to the lookout point gave us a sense of accomplishment.

It is a workout. If you are a newbie be prepared for a challenge. Cars can drive to the top so you may see non-hikers at the firepower.

It is a workout. If you are a newbie be prepared for a challenge. Cars can drive to the top so you may see non-hikers at the firepower.

It is a workout. If you are a newbie be prepared for a challenge. Cars can drive to the top so you may see non-hikers at the firepower.

Great hike with good winter views. The views are limited in summer but it is still a great hike. With the trip.

Definitely should be rated difficult bcuz of length & ups/down. 14.5 miles. Great winter hike for views and solitude.

Hard to find, not marked with orange blazes. Started on AT and took Lover’s Leap Loop back to parking lot. Amazing views and cool rocky outcroppings.

nice trail. lot of switchbacks going up. Just past the sign for Lover's Leap #308 (going up), there is a huge nest of yellowjackets on the trail. we got stung really bad, so be careful!

nice hike not great scenic views, but enjoyable hike.

I completed this section with my wife and with my 10 years old daughter. We stayed overnight and came back next morning to Hot Springs campground.

You will hike one mile next to the river...

Was our pleasure to meet two Appalachian thru Hikers... great stories and good motivation!!!

I rate this section Hard.

Views = good ( different points to stop and take some pics)

Hiking shoes highly recommended. I saw some people with running shoes having a hard time...

hiking
11 months ago

We actually went up twice. We took the AT entrance way. Beautiful hike up. The backside is like a jungle and ends up at the Silvermine trailhead. We walked through the parking lit and down the ‘Deliverance’ road and up again the AT side and this time took the AT all the way up along the ridge until the Push Loop trail and backside of the mountain - the tropical jungle. No views. Just a creek and lots of leaves. We got lost somehow and ended up at a campground and just hiked through until we got to the parking lot. Them hiked back to Hot Springs for an ice-cold brew. We did about 10 miles total.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

We went on this trail in the fall and the view was amazing at the top! The trail was a little untended to, however fairly easy to navigate. I will be doing this hike again soon!

hiking
Thursday, August 24, 2017

Not clearly marked and/or directed. Lead me on steep climb and down other side of mountain to diff trailhead for Pump Gap Trail. Then can't find Pump Gap Trail on this app....rendering this app useless for this!

hiking
Monday, August 07, 2017

A hard but fun trail! All of us are still sore - a good workout due to the vertical incline. The view isn't that great and it was actually 5.6 miles, not 3.4. It took us 2 hours to get through.

Hell of a workout. I was a little disappointed when a car drove up to the fire tower at the top of the mountain after I worked so hard to get there.

Fun hike if this is the one that starts at the silver mine. AT trail well marked with white stripes. Great view of the river and surrounding landscape as you climb up

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Steep!! But beautiful views

hiking
Tuesday, June 20, 2017

These were the best views out of any hike we have ever done in hot springs. You are able to overlook the entire town from one of the lookouts. It was incredible! We will definitely be doing this one again.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Beautiful views would definitely do it again. But the directions on the sign in hot springs are the worst. The left at the "T-intersection" is not a T at all (it's more of a Y? Looks like you're turning into a neighborhood then turns to gravel where you park), and there's no road sign saying silvermine rd. Matter of fact there wasn't a single road sign we were told to look for. Or a brown trailhead sign. It was super frustrating especially not having cell service to map it. Maybe I'm spoiled living in TN where everything is so well marked. But by the time we found the trail head we just wanted to get the hike over with to get back for lunch so we rushed through a lot :/ the visitors center didn't open until 10, which is where we were going to stop for directions and suggestions on hikes but didn't want to get our day started that late in the heat.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Love this trail! Awesome views of the French Broad and Hot Springs. Very few people on it when I went but it would only take a few more for it to be crowded and views be blocked, so I'd suggest hitting the trail early if you hate crowds like I do. ;)

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Hiked it about a month ago with our two Siberian Huskies. Didn't find it to be as hard as the rating especially since one of our dogs (10 years old and multiple leg surgeries) had no problem with climb. Gorgeous views at the top.

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.

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