Lovers Leap Loop Trail

MODERATE 190 reviews

Lovers Leap Loop Trail is a 1.8 mile moderately 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.

Distance: 1.8 miles Elevation Gain: 472 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

hiking

nature trips

bird watching

forest

river

views

blowdown

over grown

7 days ago

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
24 days ago

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

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

hiking
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
3 months ago

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!

hiking
4 months ago

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
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!

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

Moderate/strenuous trail with awesome views of the French Broad and Hot Springs. I connected to the Pump Gap loop and that’s where I ran into problems for unclear reasons! There’s no hidden turns or anything so I’m not sure what happened but every time I looked at my position on the map on Alltrails I was way out in the middle of nowhere! I did continue (I think!??) on Pump Gap (yellow blazes) and then on to the AT (white blazes). Eventually made it back down and took the Lover’s Leap trail back to the parking lot. I hiked around 8 miles total, took 3.5 hours at a fairly good clip. Also would recommend sturdy hiking shoes and pants, I had to traverse across lots of streams and there was many downed trees/brush in the trail. Be aware there’s basically no or very limited cell service out there as well.

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

Dog friendly trail! Lovely view of Hot Springs! I wouldn’t say the trail is hard, so much as it has some steep inclines that may leave you a little winded. 100% recommend!

hiking
7 months ago

Short hike but fairly steep with some great places to stop and look over the French Broad River. We combined it with the Pump Gap Loop trail for an ~8 mile hike overall.

hiking
8 months ago

Moderately challenging ascent but it’s short so well worth it. A fantastic view of the river!

hiking
8 months ago

The trial is pretty narrow at times but a great short hike for some good views at the top! Totally recommend for anyone looking for about an hour ish hike.

9 months ago

great views, good climb

hiking
10 months ago

the river had washed out the trail so we were only able to hike up the silvermine road to the look out and back. going up the slivermine road is probably the reason this trail is marked "difficult." if you start on the AT and hike along the silvermine road on your decent it's much easier. beautiful views, narrow at times, crowded on weekends/holidays. the town of hot springs has a lot of charm and kind people.

backpacking
10 months ago

Fun little hike right in Hot Springs. Seriously, park in town walk across bridge and hit trail head. Nice view at top. Also, don’t miss the rope climb to a lower rock outcropping, just off the river.

hiking
10 months ago

Great hike with a few wonderful views of Hot Springs plus some interesting history regarding how it got its name, must do if in the area. More on the easier side imo.

10 months ago

Beautiful! Certainly strenuous going uphill we went when it was drizzling so it was a bit wet. Some slippery parts. We brought our dog and he seemed to handle it fine. I wouldn’t recommend bringing a dog unless on a harness or if he/she is very well behaved. (Mine is a little crazy and almost pulled us downhill)

11 months ago

Beautiful scenery and walking distance to and from Hot Springs.

hiking
11 months ago

Very beautiful views. Could use more signage.

hiking
Mon Nov 12 2018

Fantastic views! It was very hard to find the trail. We went up the opposite way as recommended to us due to recent rain. It was really tough to climb up in spots. There are ropes to use most of the way. More like climbing than hiking in places. Really fun!

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