For those in great hiking shape who want a wonderful Appalachian Trail day hiking experience, this is a perfect route to take. At approximately 20 miles in distance with a couple of shelters along the way to Hot Springs, this is a popular section for backpackers. But, for those that enjoy long mileage days, it sure makes for a great day hike too! If you can’t run your own shuttle to Max Patch, then Bluff Mountain Outfitters has you covered. Beginning the hike at Max Patch, you’ll be wowed by the 360-degree views from this 4,629 foot, 350 acre bald. Head north on the AT, as you wind your way back to town. It’s well marked all the way, and there are plenty of water sources along the trail – although, you will need to be prepared to purify. Get a taste of following the notorious White Blazes of the Appalachian Trail.
Directions: Take I-26W/US-19N/US-23N to exit 19A for US-25N/US-70W towards Marshall and Hot Springs. Take a left to continue on US-25/US-70 heading toward Hot Springs. From downtown Hot Springs, follow Highway 209 for 7.3 miles to Meadow Fork Road (aka SR1175). Go 5.3 miles to SR1181. Follow SR1181 for 2 miles, and after it turns to gravel, take a right onto SR1182 at the top of the mountain. Continue on SR1182 for 3 miles to the Max Patch parking area.