Hike and experience a section of the famous Appalachian Trail (or A.T.) on top of Max Patch Mountain. Begin your out-and-back hike at Lemon-Gap to begin the 6 mile trek to Max’s Patch! This 4,600-foot mountain was cleared and used as pasture in the 1800s. Today, it's a 350-acre tract of open land on a high knob with 360-degree views . On a clear day, you can see from Mt. Mitchell on the east to the Great Smoky Mountains on the south. From panoramic views to wildflowers, Max’s Patch has something to offer everyone.
Distance: 12.4 miles roundtrip
Trailhead: Appalachian Trail
Hiking Pace: Hiking pace will vary from 1-2 miles an hour
Blaze Color: White
Water is seasonal and unreliable after Lemon-Gap shelter. You should plan to hike from Lemon-Gap to Max’s Patch for all the water you will need for the weekend. Ask us about gear you can rent to help carry your water! In addition, you MUST know how to filter or treat water before hiking this trail. If you don’t know how, we’ve got some tips for you.
Directions to Trailhead
GPS location: N35° 49.30’ W082° 56.16’
From downtown Hot Springs: Follow Highway 209 (7.3 miles) to Meadow Fork Road (State Road 1175). There is a sign here and at all the other junctions to direct you to Max Patch. Go 5.3 miles to Little Creek Road (State Road 1181). Follow Little Creek Road (1181) which will turn into a gravel road for 3.5 miles to a T intersection which is Max Patch Road (State Road 1182). Turn right onto Max Patch Road (gravel) and go for 1.6 miles to Max Patch parking and continue past Max Patch parking on a gravel road for 3.6 miles to the Lemon Gap parking access.
While camping at Max’s Patch is prohibited, you will pass campsites on the way to Max’s Patch that you can stay at for the night.