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Lovers Leap Loop Trail is a 1.8 mile heavily 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, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length 1.8 mi Elevation gain 472 ft Route type Loop

Dog friendly

Hiking

Nature trips

Bird watching

Forest

River

Views

Blowdown

Over grown

Description
Waypoints (0)

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (283)
Photos (248)
Recordings (197)
Completed (597)
John Zornick
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 10, 2020
HikingGreat!

Nice quickie trail. Not much parking at the designated start point. Most open areas owned by NOC. Just continue driving past all of homes and trailers to the start of the Silver Mine trail and park there.

View John's Recording
Jay Goodwin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 6, 2020
Hiking
View Jay's Recording
Jay Goodwin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 6, 2020
Hiking
View Jay's Recording
Michael Ray
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 4, 2020
HikingGreat!MuddyOver grown

This was a fun hike for the family. The trail is a little overgrown, however, there is still plenty of path to walk on. The trail is marked fairly well but the Lovers Leap crest (or end point) isn’t marked at all. The view is amazing and well worth the hike. Highly recommend.

Maegan White
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 3, 2020
HikingRocky

Steep from the start! The French broad river was rushing after the storms. Beautiful views at the top

Kim Wehner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 2, 2020
HikingGreat!

This is a great trail! Beautiful views. It is a pretty steep uphill climb so make sure you have good shoes and lots of water (we saw people hiking up in flip flops that had to turn around).

Elizabeth Doktor
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 1, 2020
Hiking

Not prepared for the change in elevation. Pretty views from the top.

View Elizabeth's Recording
Jared Jarvis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 16, 2020
HikingOver grownRocky

Great trail! I started from the NOC and hiked the Pump Gap Loop until I reached the Appalachian Trail. Then I took the AT to the Lover's Leap Loop, hiked down to the overlooks, then hiked to the French Broad River and back to the NOC. The Pump Gap Loop is currently a bit overgrown, so long pants should be worn. I found a tick on me, and so did someone else in our group. There are a few decently strenuous climbs, but nothing terrible. Most of the hike is shaded. The Lover's Leap Overlooks (there are two) offer a great view of the river and the town of Hot Springs. For anyone wanting to know, the actual Lover's Leap Overlook from the legend is very difficult to get to. It's basically right at the intersection of the AT and the Lover's Leap Loop, and you have to scale down rocks to get to it. It actually may be easier to get up to it from the bottom, as there is a path with a rope leading up to it right behind the NOC (I talked to a local about this path and saw it, but I did not go all the way up so can't verify this information. The overlook that people mistake for Lover's Leap is down the AT and actually offers the best view. There is a small sub-trail to get to it, just be careful when you go out on it as the rocks are very sharp and jagged. Overall this trail is awesome and I would highly recommend it for anyone looking for a bit of a challenge and a nice overlook.

Preston Juliette
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 14, 2020
HikingGreat!

This was a really nice little trail with some lovely flora. So beautiful going down with the rhododendrons, moss, and ferns. A moderate incline on the way up, great workout, looking over the French Broad and Hot Springs. I saw only two groups of people the entire hike, this was in the morning on a Tuesday. For anyone curious to see, I've posted an entire start to finish 4K walking tour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ffK6TgJjdcc

Andre Beaudry
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 13, 2020
HikingRocky

Very nice trail with a flat portion along the river followed by a climb to the top. A few nice scenic view spots at the top. It is very rocky so you better walk with your head down. Not a safe trail for small children. Enjoyed this trail very much

Erin Lewis
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 7, 2020
HikingRocky

Rocky. Lovely start walking next to the French Broad. Found blueberries growing a few places, which was fun. Pretty warm and humid. Not like the hikes at higher altitudes.

View Erin's Recording
Thyra Schwab
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Hiking

Short, moderate hike. Pretty views and some fun, narrow rocky ledge switchbacks on the way up tracing the French Broad. Glad we started the loop along the river.

Alex Halfmann
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Hiking

Parking was tricky and confusing. There is a small lot at the end of the road where you can park, maybe 500’ past the trailhead. The raft company does tow cars if you park where you’d block their busses. On to the hike, we started along the French Broad River. Though the flat trail continues, for this loop take the first left following the white markings. You’ll have a relatively short, but steep climb that will burn your legs if you aren’t used to hills. Use poles if you have them. Beautiful views near the top. The way back down is clearly marked and easier if you go this direction. I can see how people going the other direction could get confused on the second half of the loop, but if you read the sign at the trailheads you’ll be fine.

Jenny Skehan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 4, 2020
Hiking

A quick steep rocky incline to the top. Beautiful views. Easy more gradual decline back down.

Merry Lorrie Jones
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 28, 2020
Hiking

Good hike to get your heart pumping before you get to Lover's Leap. Beautiful views of Hot Springs and the river. My sister and I did the loop....so much fun!!

Reggie Oakley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 26, 2020
Hiking

Park in the Silver Mine trailhead lot, walk back to the river, then follow the Lovers Leap trailhead along the river till you see the AT (white blaze). Take AT up the mountain (strenuous but relatively short climb). Great views at several different spots. Take the Silver Mine Trail (orange blaze) once you reach the apex of the climb. It will lead you back to the parking area. We finished in under an hour with several stops for views.

View Reggie's Recording
Rashmi Schramm
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 24, 2020
Hiking

Great trail! I agree with other reviewers...it was tricky finding our way back from the top. You will need to take the AT back towards the parking lot if you want to do a loop rather than out and back. Views are excellent and it’s a quick climb up.

Deborah Inaba
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 21, 2020

Found the trailhead after asking folks about parking. Went up first and although a bit narrow it was well maintained and no poison ivy. The junction where it meets the AT and the signage was a bit confusing and ended up walking on the AT a bit before I turned back. Thank goodness for the AllTrails map and the live compass. Not much traffic today. Only met a couple of people coming off the AT. Some of the reviews stated it was really harder than moderate but I think it really was a low to mid moderate level. If you're used to some hill work, its a great workout. River was gorgeous and the view from the top grand. Loving the mountains!

Jeff Cox
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 21, 2020

Nice moderate/easy hike for a 60 year old that's not in very good shape. Lots of wild berries today, blueberry and blackberry.

Isaac Sams
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 20, 2020
HikingRocky

This was a fun hike! It was steep and rocky in places, but well worth it!

View Isaac's Recording
Lisa Timm
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 17, 2020
HikingRocky

Steep rocky clim with good view all the way up - Limited parking at trail head and no restroom .

View Lisa's Recording
Seda Nesrin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 16, 2020
Hiking

Hiked June 10th 2020. Gorgeous views.

Julie Schmeiser
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 15, 2020

This is listed as a loop trail but doesnt have to be. If you are a good hiker and are fit by all means do the round trip. It is very steep if you start at the parking lot. My husband and I thought we were but oh heavens it put us to the test! it goes straight up and is very strenuous! Otherwise if you wanna see lovers leap with a Medium hike dont start at the parking lot go back down toward the river and start there. We saw 2 or 3 families with kids taking that way and they went up and came back down that way. We asked a few people and I guess the locals knew better lol. So you want a challenge start at the parking lot you want an easier just as beautiful hike start down at the river.

Autumn Harris
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 7, 2020
HikingBugsRocky

Great trail! Very steep, rooty, and very rocky. Recommend closed in shoes-not chacos. A few rocky places to stop and rest. Finished the trail loop.

Anastasia Huggins
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMay 30, 2020

Hiked this yesterday and can confirm it's currently open. Quick climb (steep in places) to get up to the overlook which offers a pretty view over the river and hot springs. don't sleep on the climb and wear decent shoes, not an easy quick walk!

Erica Jacoby
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Currently closed for COVID 19 pandemic as of 4/25

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