Explore the most popular birding trails near Hot Springs with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Nice hike, great views and wildflowers.

One of my favorite places on Earth.

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!!!!

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

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!

19 days ago

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.

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

1 month ago

The hike has an easy option walking along the river, which is short but beautiful. Gorgeous views and a fun walk.

I disagree with a few of the comments here. This hike is very easy, but enjoyable if you want to get a quick workout in while visiting Hot Springs. It took me about an hour to complete with my dog. The only challenge with this hike is the unmarked trails. The part of Lover’s Leap on the AT is clearly marked with white blazes, but the rest of the trail is not marked. Bring a map and a compass and you’ll be fine.

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!!!

loved the views. Truly worth the drive. Would like to go in fall and even start over night.

GREAT views, and a real workout once you start to climb!

Views are beautiful and it’s very peaceful at the top. Like others have said, it’s not much of a “hike” it’s more of a walk to the top, take in the scenery and head back to the bottom. All and all tho, it’s definitely beautiful up there.

This is not a hike it’s short and beyond easy. The 8 mile drive up the mountain is more eventful than the “hike”.

There is are fantastic views at the summit and great sunsets, but good luck enjoying them. Due to the simplicity of the “hike” there will be tons of people at the summit to provide you with a relaxing atmosphere of pizza, loud music, and obnoxiously loud laughing and screaming. If you’re looking for relaxation and a peaceful evening then skip this one

1 month ago

For a shorter hike the views were amazing...

we did the pump gap loop from the Silvermine trailhead, a few hundred yards up the little road from the parking area on the river. the trail map posted there lists it as 5.6m and shows a very different trail route than what this app shows. also, this app consistently showed me well east of the route according to the map on this app. so I don't know what to think..be careful, follow the yellow blazes for the route we did, we were on trail just over 3 hrs & are average hikers at worst I'd say. update-i think what this app shows/describes is a combination of an AT section and part of the pump gap loop. be aware.

I was told how fantastic that place was, and drove about 2hours for it. I will admit I was a bit dissappointed. If you are around, sure do it! But otherwise...

Great short loop. Beware if you have seasonal allergies, they will flare up!

Max Patch is one of my absolute favorite hikes! The views are incredible any time of the year. My favorite time to visit if for the sunset/sunrise! It is a fairly easy hike, suitable for all ages!

Did this hike the other day and it was spectacular! The hike itself is really short and easy - there were a few families up there with some little kids. The 360-degree views were stunning and you could see for miles! It was about an hour’s drive to get there, but it was absolutely worth it!

The drive was long, but so worth it. We loved the scenic drive. The hike was great and easy enough for our young children to hike. The view from the top was amazing!!!! Words can’t even describe the magnificent view!!! God surely showed out when He made this part of the world!! I recommend this hike if you want an easy day hike for family!!

It's a rough and bumpy drive to get to the parking area (~30 min off the main road). We went at 5:30 AM on July 4th and there were still 15-20 other groups there. We did the short hike from the parking area to the bald for the sunrise and then took the longer way on the AT back to our car. Highly recommend the AT portion of the hike; it's much quieter and fairly easy, but I would suggest wearing pants and closed-toe shoes for that trail, as the grass is tall in some spots.

Must do, must see, just go.

Easy walk to the summit. Incredible 360 views. Cool breezes at the top.
The gravel road to the trail is interesting. Enjoy!

this is God's country flat out gorgeous!!!

Beautiful views!

We had a little trouble finding the trailhead after we parked, but once we got going it was a real pleasure. The Pump Gap part of the trail was a little trickier—recent rains have covered the trail with some downed trees and rocks. But once we got to the AT, it was smooth and very well maintained. Took us about 1.75 hours to complete the loop. Recommended!

The windy road to the trailhead from I-40 takes about a half hour and is bumpy in parts but it’s worth it, the views at the summit of Max Patch are magnificent! At the trailhead you can take the right loop for a more difficult ascent or the left loop for a more gradual ascent. We chose the right loop first and were rewarded with beautiful wildflowers along the hillside. The trail then joined up with the Appalachian Trail for the steepest part of the ascent, which wasn’t bad at all. At the top, the 360 degree views were stunning. The walk down to the trailhead along the left loop was a gentle descent through a tunnel of trees.

Took Lemon Gap to Max Patch with my 10 yo son and our dog. Phenomenal views at Max Patch after lots of covered forest hiking. Lots of berries along the trail - and fun Rhododendron tunnels to hike through. Great Shelter with ready to use bear poles and lines were much appreciated.

Great 360 view of the smokies!

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