Rich Mountain Tower is a 5 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Hot Springs, North Carolina that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 5.0 miles Elevation Gain: 1,430 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

views

hiking
3 hours ago

This is a great moderate, in-and-out trail. The “in” part is mostly all uphill and the push at the end toward the tower is a great cardio workout. I’ve been on this trail multiple times and I plan on continuing to visit.

hiking
7 days ago

I would recommend this to anyone looking to fill about 3 hours of leisure time. Easy uphill and fast downhill!

The view from the watch tower was well worth the hike! Trail was well maintained, free of debris, lightly trafficked. Definitely gets your heart pumping on the ascend but still able to keep a steady pace and not have to pause for a breather.

hiking
5 months ago

Great 5 miler. A nice steep push at the top to get the heart pumping. Sweet views on top . Obviously very well marked by the iconic white blazes of the AT.

hiking
5 months ago

this mountain is cursed to me I've been 3 times and all were rough. it's beautiful view at top but the mountain doesn't want me to return.

hiking
6 months ago

me and the dog.. not as bad as I thought!

hiking
6 months ago

Steady incline but trail is well marked and not too bad. Love the views and sturdy nice tower, good place for lunch break.

hiking
7 months ago

This trail was a perfect day hike to the fire tower. It’s a steady, but not really strenuous, climb up. The trail is in great condition, and what you’d expect on the AT. It was so windy and cloudy at the fire tower, we couldn’t see a lot. Even still, it was a lot of fun and our family (two adults and kids ages 8 and 9) really loved it!

hiking
9 months ago

A solid, half-day hike. It's a root-heavy trail, so ankle support and trekking poles will go along way on the descent.

hiking
10 months ago

Picked this hike quickly to follow-up Lover’s Leap. It was a great challenging hike with light traffic. We took our three dogs and there were plenty of streams along the way to keep them hydrated. The bee hive is the real deal and it sneaks up on you. It’s just under a mile into the hike and is IN THE GROUND. It’s a hole (on your left going up) and it looks a place where tree roots pulled the ground out (at some point, no tree there though). One dog must’ve got a little too close and all three dogs got stung and myself. (Husband went sting free). View at the top was 360 beautiful views. Steps to the fire tower are steep and everything is metal slats, so it’s scary for dogs because their nails drop between the slats... but all three made it to the top with caution.

hiking
10 months ago

Great hike a lot different plant life and fungus to check out and a very beautiful view from the top of the fire tower

hiking
Fri Apr 05 2019

Great view! Worth every minute! We brought our dog and there was plenty of streams for drinking water for her. View was amazing!

hiking
Sat Mar 23 2019

The fire tower at the top is a great place to stop and eat lunch on the way up. Make sure you go to the top of the tower for beautiful views! The hike is steep in places, and the trails are fairly narrow.

hiking
Tue Jan 01 2019

Great trail. The best multi range Mountain View I have seen so far. Don’t pass this one up. Take in a beer afterwards at Spring Creek Tavern Hot Springs.

hiking
Tue Dec 25 2018

Great Christmas hike . A bit longer than five Miles from bridge according to iPhone and Apple Watch. Ran into many holiday hikers . A bit icy and snowy at the top but worth it to get to the tower. Yak tracks and sock liners may be helpful for warm feet and traction but doable without .

hiking
Sun Dec 23 2018

Strenuous trail because of the 1,400ft of elevation gain in 2.5 miles. We enjoyed hiking this in the winter with the bare trees. Beautiful views all the way up. The views from the fire tower are spectacular. I recommend this trail for those who are in good shape.

Mon Oct 08 2018

The usual “green tunnel” AT hike to a refurbished fire tower with a view! Quite worth the walk for the view. Do be aware that the previous comments about yellow jacket stings should not be ignored. We had 3 hikers...3 stings at different places along the trail.

hiking
Sun Sep 02 2018

Fire tower has had a recent makeover and the stairs and railing have been replaced. The view from the top is well worth the hike up! Trailhead is right by the AT overpass on NC 25/70. Once you park, hike away from the overpass.

Sun Aug 20 2017

Be very careful, there are bees/yellow jackets or something about 15-20 into the trail. A group in front of us warned us of the bees. Then I got stung 5 times and my buddy about 8 times. The area of the hive is very hard to see but directly on the path. Be warned!! Last thing, the tower is closed and you cannot climb up to get the views. Other than that, it was a nice inclined hike.

recorded Rich Mountain Tower

hiking
4 days ago

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8 days ago

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9 days ago

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1 month ago

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2 months ago

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