Max Patch Loop via Appalachian Trail

EASY 266 reviews
#5 of 167 trails in

Max Patch Loop via Appalachian Trail is a 2.4 kilometer moderately trafficked loop trail located near Hot Springs, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
2.4 km
ELEVATION GAIN
88 m
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

wheelchair friendly

kid friendly

stroller friendly

backpacking

camping

hiking

mountain biking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

paved

views

wild flowers

wildlife

Nice hike along a treeless summit of rolling hills. From the parking area at Max Patch, the trail starts off going north. About 15 minutes into the hike you will come to a sign that indicates the AT to the left and the climb to the top of max Patch to the right. This short 100 yard trail to the top brings you to a grand 360 degree view of NC, TN and Mt. Mitchell to the North East. Simply beautiful. Retrace your steps and head north on the AT. Follow the AT and end this part of the trip at the Roaring Forks AT Shelter.Head south again on the AT and take the long loop trail along the backside of Max Patch. This trail will eventually bring you back to the parking lot where you started.

Second time hiking Max Patch, foggy and cold but lovely as always!

hiking
21 days ago

I’ve been here a few times, the latest being during the solar eclipse last August. Actually, I camped here but it was too crowded for my tasted so I hiked to the next bald over where I was completely alone. I love this place, absolutely beautiful at the top. The base of the mountain reminds me of the Shire. I love it!

hiking
22 days ago

Super easy hike to get some spectacular views. Did not like that there are burn scars everywhere all over the place as well as a lot of trash. We picked up a good bag full of water bottles and trash. Spent 2 nights camping in subzero windchill temps enjoying the view. Great spots to camp off the bald in the woods to the North. The fences they put up to keep people off the trail had been blown over and were covered in ice. We Couldn’t repair with the equipment we had unfortunately. We only saw one hiker the first day, but on the last day the place had near 50 or so hikers on the trail. It’s definitely Worth a visit.

1 month ago

Wow! Awesome hike to a sprawling bald. Low effort, high yield. Just be prepared for hoards of people at the top on a nice day. Fortunately there are off-shoots and other trails in the vicinity you can explore to get away from the crowds. Definitely would do again, and would plan a camping trip to see sunrise from there.

backpacking
1 month ago

This place is one of my absolute favorite! I did an overnight backpacking trip here and the view was beyond breathtaking. My now fiancé also proposed here at sunset and it was so dreamy! The hike isn’t bad and only took 15 minutes to get to the top. I would recommend wearing boots as it can be a little muddy.

scenic driving
1 month ago

Very much enjoyed the hike.

1 month ago

December 27th hike around 12:00 noon.
We parked on the road not knowing about the upper parking lot and went in around the AT, I think.
Went up to the summit first, back down and then around the backside of the trail to the main parking lot.
We then walked back to our car down the road about 200 yards or more.

there was a bunch of snow and some ice, as well as crazy wind at the summit.
We loved this trail and can't wait to see it in the spring or summer.

hiking
2 months ago

One of my favorite hikes of all time, hands down!

2 months ago

The views were breathtaking! Short, somewhat muddy walk up to the summit. Once there, it’s the most incredible 360 views of the smoky mountains! It’s right off the interstate, and the ride up the mountain was just as fun and gorgeous.

hiking
3 months ago

My 5, 8, and 10 year old enjoyed the hike. Super easy and 360 degree views!

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked this trail on Wednesday. The weather wasn’t the best, visibility was very poor from the summit and I just loved it! The sound of my boots on the trail, the echo of birds calling, the rain beating against my pack, and a dog barking in the distance set the scene for my peaceful trek to the summit via the AT. It was very muddy and I stumbled a time or two and actually fell once due to the slippery trail. My trekking poles were a tremendous help on this day.

3 months ago

Breath taking views from the top! Slippery when wet, gets real muddy in the rain. Wear appropriate shoes.

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome!

hiking
3 months ago

Words can’t describe it!

3 months ago

Gorgeous trail and views

hiking
3 months ago

Excellent easy hike. Love this place and so does the dog!

hiking
3 months ago

Stunning!

3 months ago

A must hike!!! Awesome vistas!

4 months ago

peaceful

hiking
4 months ago

Short hike, great for kids, beautiful views. The only downside was the lack of sufficient parking. Would go again!

4 months ago

This was my first hike in 15 years. The ride up is incredibly relaxing with the stream running next to you for the first portion. The hike is short and easy and the views from the top are breathtaking. Camped under the stars and woke up to an amazing sunrise.

4 months ago

This was the perfect trail for me to take my 2 & 5 year old by myself. Packed a lunch box with snacks and a fold up blanket to sit on and have a picnic at the summit. I could've stayed there all day. bring sunscreen as there is no coverage. Road getting there was very curvy and paved with gravel here and there. Couldn't go faster than 15mph for the most part. Took 30 minutes going up. I'd go here everyday if I could!

4 months ago

first hike I did! loved it.

5 months ago

Nice hike, great views and wildflowers.

hiking
5 months ago

One of my favorite places on Earth.

nature trips
5 months ago

Took my 2 & 5 yo. Perfect little walk to enjoy a picnic. Very easy to find. Once you get off interstate, I took a left onto the road and went for about 30 min on a paved rd although it had a little gravel over it. You can only go 10-20mph on this windy road. Takes about 30 min on this road but totally worth it!!!!

5 months ago

Full of leaf lookers, come early if you want to be able to park.

5 months ago

Max Patch did not disappoint! I took my elderly parents to this awesome trail on 9/2 and it was just an amazing time. Unfortunately, my 82 y.o. father couldn’t go all the way to the top but even with just 1/3rd way there, he thoroughly enjoyed it. This spot is probably awesome year round but the Falls must be pretty majestic. I’m hoping to make my way out there next time to camp over night, catch the sunrise, and stay for the sunset!

backpacking
5 months ago

Great place and beautiful view. Def recommend hiking this loop. Plan on spending some time on top of the bald too.

6 months ago

Easy for first time hikers as well as experienced. just make sure you have water prior as water is quarter mile away if you dont want to walk. but worth it!!!

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