Appalachian Trail: Hot Springs to Max Patch

MODERATE 13 reviews
#89 of 206 trails in

Appalachian Trail: Hot Springs to Max Patch is a 19.1 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Hot Springs, North Carolina that features a great forest setting and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, nature trips, and backpacking and is best used from March until November.

Distance: 19.1 miles Elevation Gain: 6,154 feet Route Type: Point to Point




nature trips



The small town of Hot Springs, NC is the only place in North Carolina where the AT goes directly through the center of town. There are a number of places for resupply here, including a Dollar General Store and Bluff Mountain Outfitters.

2 months ago

We went from Max Patch to Hot Springs. Water sources were few due to drought, so fill up at every trickle you see. the view from Max Patch is amazing!

3 months ago

Great for beginners fun to finish in hot springs because it’s a great town

4 months ago

This trail was just right for our group as we had some experienced hikers and some not. We split it up to enjoy the nature of the hike more and have a full backpacking experience with camping several nights along the way. I highly recommend this trail for families but there can be challenges of rain and steep/narrow paths that maybe too difficult for older folks and young children. I would love to go again

5 months ago

This is honestly closer to 20 miles than 18. In fact it was 13.1 from Hot Springs to Walnut Mountain Shelter and then 6.7 the rest of the way. I did it over two days as part of my first ever overnighter on the AT. Hot Springs is an awesome, friendly little town but you climb out of it in no time. It’s a decent ascent followed by some flat areas near the Deer Creek Shelter. But the summit of Bluff Mountain after Garenflo Gap was a humdinger. Especially with a full pack. You cross a lot of streams and water sources after Lemon Gap plus many cool footbridges. There’s a brief meadow with some overgrown weeds and a very steady and manageable rise to Max Patch over the final five miles or so. Lots of deer and a couple salamanders. 360° views at the top!

Went from Max Patch to Hot Springs. Possible in one day, but more enjoyable over two. The descent to Hot Springs was a doozy.

Thu Jun 14 2018