Looking for a great trail in Rich-Laurel Wildlife Area, North Carolina? AllTrails has 6 great hiking trails, forest trails, views trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 3 moderate trails in Rich-Laurel Wildlife Area ranging from 3.4 to 12.3 miles and from 1,315 to 3,667 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!

hiking

forest

views

bird watching

Not sure why this says "for very experienced adventurers". Also, it's moderately used, not "lightly" traveled. That having been said, this trail is a well-marked, well-maintained, couple of hours moderate hike (due to the elevation gain), with great views that make it worth the trip! Several dogs, families, some section hikers on the AT portion. Good afternoon of being outdoors!

hiking
23 days ago

Moderate to Difficult. Very nice short hike with nice views. Good for a quick day hike to enjoy fresh air.

Fun segment of the AT. Beautiful weather.

hiking
blowdown
rocky
1 month ago

This loop is short, but has great views of the French Broad River and Hot Springs. Follow the white blazes on the AT until you see the sign for Lover’s Leap, which then changes to an orange blaze and takes you to a gravel parking lot. I parked at the NOC lot next to the river and went counterclockwise, so I just walked up the road to close the loop and to get to my car.

hiking
blowdown
rocky
1 month ago

Fun little trail. I often stop here on my lunch break to get a little exercise in before getting back on the road. Flat section by the river is nice but the trail turns steep up the hill and becomes pretty rocky but the climb is worth it. Awesome views of hot springs near the top and then it’s all downhill from there. Two trees down over the trail on 10/10/19 but they’re pretty easy to climb over.

hiking
off trail
1 month ago

About a 2.45 mile loop from the public parking in Hot Springs. My 8 yr old joined me and paced us for about a 2 hr hike including a stop at Lovers Leap and the rocks closer to top with views to Hot Springs and West. It’s a great “easy” hike and trail conditions were nice. The uphill is short and not bad. If you wanted to be closer, you could park at the Silvermine Trailhead.

hiking
rocky
1 month ago

Nice quick and easy town right outside of Hot springs

hiking
blowdown
over grown
2 months ago

Nice trail, a bit overgrown on the first portion. Lightly marked as well, but some nice views and creek beds.

It was awesome!

hiking
over grown
3 months ago

it was super awesome

Great hike and a good workout. Rather than start at the suggested trailhead we walked from Hot Springs Resort, down the street and across the bridge to the AT. We followed the AT, past Lovers Leap and continued up to the ridge line ( quite the haul and with a brief down pour). We after about 1-1.5 mi, we then took the side trail off the AT on to Pump Gap Trail. This lead us to the trailhead mention in this app. Got a little confusion near the end. We then walked the road (level) back to the AT, bridge and HS.

Fun challenge! I took my dog and she was way more confident than me about the steep climb and climbing over rocks, etc...I’m a Florida girl so it was a little scary but definitely one to be proud that I conquered!

Wrap up with a soak in hot springs!

hiking
rocky
4 months ago

It is a great hike. Park in Hot Springs and walk across the FB River bridge following the AT white blazes. At the top of the mountain, you will see orange blazes on your left leading back to town allowing for a moderate to hard loop hike as pictured in the map. I am 75 and hike with my dog, so it is not too difficult. The signs at the top where the orange blazes start are old and very difficult to read. I live in Spring Creek about 15 miles away and I will try to contact the trail maintenance folks to work on the signs, or to allow me to do some maintenance on them. Enjoy! NOTE: Administrators, it would be nice if you showed the AT dotted line through Hot Springs (down the highway). Thanks for a great site! Ed

hiking
bugs
muddy
over grown
4 months ago

We made a loop climbing up the Lover’s Leap Loop, continuing on the AT until the Pump Gap Loop where we headed back down to our starting point on the French Broad River. Views from Lover’s Leap are fantastic. Hiking the ridge on the AT was gorgeous and beautifully decorated with blooming rhododendrons. But quickly after turning down the Pump Gap trail we found ourselves fighting the vegetation & swarming insects, having difficulty staying in the trail, no blazes visible. I’m surprised and quite proud we made it out!

This was a tough trail. Very beautiful at the start along the river. Lots of quite spots along the way. We went mid June and water sources were mere trickles. Make sure you fill up when you can.

hiking
5 months ago

This hike would possibly be rated strenuous if it was longer. The elevation description above is also misleading. My understanding is that the term "elevation gain" used on this site translates as total change in elevation (up AND down), not just the up portion. At least, the arithmetic bears out this way on other trail reviews I have read on AllTrails. Make no mistake; this is a little over 500 feet straight up over the course of 3/4 mile, if you start from the lovers leap/pump gap trailhead and do the lovers leap portion 1st. If you do the AT portion 1st, the climb gets compressed into the middle third of the hike. Also, we met a lot more fellow hikers than I would consider for "lightly trafficked." The lovers leap rock is a nice place to sit and look at the French Broad valley below, though some of the view is cluttered by utilitarian looking buildings in the town of Hot Springs. Additionally, the trail map at the lovers leap/pump gap trailhead is not clear or perhaps frankly erroneous. The best bet is to pay attention to the blazes, which are spelled out correctly at the trailhead. I doubt I would do this trail again, but it was still a nice time with family. If you want something short and strenuous with water play and a neat little town nearby, this is worth it.

hiking
5 months ago

Great views at the top, the uphill was not as hard as I thought. Rhododendrons are blooming so it was a fantastic hike

hiking
rocky
5 months ago

Going up! Awesome views!

We hiked a mile through town and a mile up to Tanyard Gap in the snow. It was too cold to do more at 29 degrees with an icy wind.

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

Really fun short hike. Wouldn’t describe as difficult but strenuous at times. Beautiful views.

hiking
7 months ago

The pump gap portion is pretty poorly maintained with lots of blowdowns and sections in the river, but makes an easy loop along a nice section of the AT.

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