Things To Do In and Around Hot Springs
Welcome to the beautiful mountains of Madison County, North Carolina, and the town of Hot Springs. Much of Madison County is encompassed within Pisgah National Forest and features hiking attractions such as the Appalachian Trail and Max Patch Bald. Asheville and The Biltmore are close to our rental cabins; a trolley tour of Asheville is strongly recommended. Hiking, fishing, golfing, rafting, and horseback riding all beckon as does a massage or soak in North Carolina’s only natural hot springs at The Hot Springs Spa. The Blue Ridge Parkway and The Great Smoky Mountains National Park are also nearby.
- Outdoor Activities
- Spa, Massage, Flowers, Weddings
- Asheville & Beyond
- Weather, Vet, Urgent Care
Gear, Mountain Biking, Hiking Shuttles, and Ziplines:
Bluff Mountain Outfitters 828-622-7162. A good selection of whatever you might need to enjoy the outdoors plus some friendly conversation, fax machine and internet access. Located right on Main Street in “downtown” Hot Springs. Lots of maps of the area. Shuttle service for hikers/bikers. See them for info on mountain biking trails and shuttle services.
Canopy Tours with Navitat 828-626-3700. Located north of Asheville, Navitat has squirrel-approved canopy adventures, including ziplines and rappelling. Sounds like fun – let us know! A half day with them and a trolley tour of Asheville is a great idea!
French Broad Rafting and Ziplining – 800-570-7238. They leave out of Marshall and are dog friendly if your pooch would like to paddle too! French Broad also offers zip lining!!!
Hot Springs Rafting Company – 1-877-530-7238. Leaves out of Hot Springs. Rafting of single funyaks offered.
French Broad Rafting and Ziplining – 800-570-7238. They leave out of Marshall and are dog friendly if your pooch would like to paddle too! French Broad also offers ziplining!!!
Blue Heron Whitewater Rafting 888-426-7238. Half day to full day rafting trips or scenic float trips. Leaves from 25-70 near Marshall.
USA RAFT 866-USA-RAFT. Offering rafting trips on the French Broad River and Nolichucky River with a $5 discount if you tell them you are staying with us! Online information and trip reservations. Caving and Rock Climbing also offered.
Zen Tubing 855-ZEN TUBE. Float down the river in Asheville and keep your fanny cool!!!
Trust General Store and Cafe 828-622-7400. At the junction of 209 and 63 (about 9 miles south of Hot Springs Log Cabins.) The Trust General Store features a small grocery store, fishing supplies, gas, and the Mountain Home Properties real estate office. (You will pass this place on your way to the cabins from I-40.)
C&H Fishing Supplies 828-622-3205. Located in Hot Springs, Cindy and Harold have the fishing licenses, bait, and tackle you need to fish the area waters. They can also fill you in on the best local fishing holes.
Fowler’s Farm 828-622-7380. Get to know some locals and practice your aim on this farm in Spring Creek.
Sandy Bottom Trail Rides 800-959-3513. Towards Marshall, this outfit boasts their own garnet stream and great Madison County mountain views! Sandy Bottom is open year round (weather permitting). Our guests really like this outfit!
Wolf Laurel Stables 828-678-9370 Over the other side of I-26, these trails should provide some fine scenary. Let us know about your experience!
The Biltmore 800-624-1575. The Biltmore also affers one hour trail rides and carriage rides, but you must have a regular estate admission ticket. The opportunity to ride the grounds is fantastic, but be aware that these rides are extremely supervised. The carriage ride is also a very nice option! (Open year round, weather permitting.)
Smoky Mountain Trail Rides and Bison Farm 828-768-9339 or 828-649-1303. Near Marshall – Enjoy the Amazing Beauty of the Smoky Mountains from Horseback!
Asheville Area Waterfalls:
Great Smoky Mountain National Park Cade’s Cove and the Roaring Fork Nature Trail are well worth the drive but do tend to be crowded so plan to go early in the day. Or skip the rampant commercialism of Cherokee, Gatlinburg, and Pigeon Forge and visit the Cataloochee area in the SE corner (reached via exit 20 from I-40). A walking trail of historic buildings is found here along with the recently reintroduced Elk.
Blue Ridge Parkway The section from Asheville west to 23/74 (near Waynesville) is the prettiest of all the Parkway in my opinion. The views are stupendous and it makes a perfect driving excursion from Hot Springs Log Cabins. Here is a local guide to the Blue Ridge Parkway: Click Here
Maggie Valley Ski Cataloochee 800-768-3588
Ski Wolf Laurel 800-817-4111
The two courses below are in the area of NC 209 and I-40. Please contact them directly for information and directions. Asheville also has many golf courses.
Waynesville Country Club 828-452-4617 27 holes. Very nice golf course and setting with 3 different 9 hole courses to mix and match. Mike’s comments: Great course!
Lake Junaluska Golf Course 828-456-5777 – 18 holes. This short eighteen hole course can be quite demanding because of all the trees that can affect your shots and the water hazards that come into play on key holes. Three of the fairways are doglegs, but all of them are wide open. The signature hole is #3, requiring an downhill tee shot from off an elevated tee box, then an approach shot over a stream to an elevated green. Horris Smith designed the additional nine holes in 1994. Mike’s comments: The honey-do list hasn’t allowed me time yet to try out this course!
Appalachian Trail & Max Patch Bald – Public access to the AT is at the end of Gorenflo Gap Road, just 2 miles from Hot Springs Log Cabins. (go south 1/2 mile on 209, then right on Gorenflo Gap Road. Gorenflo Gap Road is 1 1/2 miles long and terminates at the AT trail access point.) Bluff Mountain Outfitters operates a shuttle service for hikers. You can also get onto the AT from Max Patch Bald (see below).
Rocky Bluff Recreation Area & Hiking Trails – located halfway between the town of Hot Springs and Hot Springs Log Cabins, Rocky Bluff boasts a beautiful walking trail along Spring Creek (watch for signs of beaver activity!) as well as the Vann Cliff trail. You are always welcome to park your car at the gate and walk down to the trail if the parking lot is not open.
Harmon Den WMA – Exit #7 from I-40 leads you through Harmon Den. This is a gorgeous area full of horse and hiking trails to enjoy the natural beauty of the Appalachian mountains. See the “Adventure Driver” directions and the Harmon Den Trail Map for a preview of the area.
Dupont State Forest – South of Asheville is this beautiful forest with lots of trails for hiking and biking, plus many gorgeous waterfalls that are easily accessible on a loop trail.
Trails Closest to Hot Springs Log Cabins:
Spring Creek Nature Trail – This trail gets four paws from Hot Springs Log Cabins pet guests! Accessed from Rocky Bluff Recreation Area, 3 miles north on 209, on your right as you go into Hot Springs. You are always welcome to park your car at the gate and walk down to the trail if the parking lot is not open. Easy 1.6-miles loop along Spring Creek. Let the dogs swim, throw out a fishing line, or just enjoy the sound of rushing water. Lots of beavers in the area too!
Van Cliff Loop – Also from the Rocky Bluff Recreation Area. 2.6 miles. A steep, difficult hike along streams and ridge tops where the forest has reclaimed old farmland. The Trail leaves the south end of the Rocky Bluff Recreation Area, crosses NC 209, and ascends Taylor Hollow Creek.
Max Patch Bald Absolutely, positively, the best hike if you only have time for one! Elevation: 4,692 feet. Drive right out of the driveway onto NC-209, right on Meadow Fork Rd, right on Little Creek Rd, then a last right onto Max Patch Rd for a total distance of 10 miles to the trail head. Be sure to stop at Panther Branch Rd along the way to see a lovely waterfall. Panther Branch dead-ends so head back to Meadow Fork Rd once you have seen the waterfall.
Just one half mile from the parking lot to the top and you have panoramic 360 degree views into Tennessee, The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and even all the way to The Blue Ridge Parkway! Max Patch offers a gentle climb across the southernmost bald on the Appalachian Trail to its grassy summit at 4,629 feet. During the warmer seasons, the trail abounds with wildflowers.
Privately owned until 1982, the land covered by the trail had been used for grazing sheep and cattle. An offer to sell to a ski development was fortunately countered by the U.S. Forest Service, which bought the 392 acres for the Appalachian Trail.
Take a jacket as it is often very windy and exercise caution during the winter months as the road to Max Patch may be icy and dangerous even when there is no snow at Hot Springs Log Cabins.
AT Trail from Max Patch: Max Patch can also be the starting point for an AT trail hike to the north (towards Hot Springs) or south (towards The Great Smoky Mountains National Park).
The northern segment travels 20 miles to the town of Hot Springs. The first 7 miles along this segment are easy, gaining less than 1,000 feet in elevation, but the path soon climbs steadily toward the wooded summit of Walnut Mountain (elevation 4,280 feet). After a short stretch on an old roadbed, the trail reaches Catpen Gap and ascends Bluff Mountain (elevation 4,686 feet). From here the trail drops steadily, losing more than 3,000 feet along its 10-mile descent into Hot Springs.