Appalachian Trail Access Points in Madison County NC

Trail Section (going north)


Max Patch Road (NC 1182) to Lemon Gap (NC 1182/TN107)  — 6.2 miles

  • One of the most beautiful spots in Madison County, a bald which offers spectacular 360° views on clear days
  • Good parking facilities
  • Offers two short closed loop trails across the bald
  • Nice hike north to Lemon Gap with little elevation change

Lemon Gap (NC 1182/TN 107P) to Garenflo Gap (Top of Gorenflo Gap Road)  — 7.4 miles

  • Somewhat remote, although beautiful once you arrive at the parking
  • For parking access, you have to travel on almost 4 miles more of  gravel road beyond Max Patch
  • Nice hike south to Max Patch with little elevation change
  • The hike north is the easiest way to Bluff Mountain which offers views when leaves are gone

Garenflo Gap (Top of Gorenflo Gap Road) to Town of Hot Springs — 6.6 miles

  • Not too far of a drive from Hot Springs
  • Only 1.6 miles off the main highway
  • Hike south is somewhat strenuous but seeing the view from Bluff Mountain is worth it when leaves are gone
  • Hike north to Hot Springs is quite scenic as you come down into the town and are overlooking the French Broad River

Town of Hot Springs to Tanyard Gap (US 25/70 by Mill Ridge) — 5.9 miles

  • Easiest access in the whole county
  • Trail runs right through the main street
  • Restaurants and cabins are all right there–plus a hot mineral springs spa
  • Nice hike north goes to Lover’s Leap Rock with a spectacular view of the French Broad River and the town

Tanyard Gap (US 25/70 by Mill Ridge) to Rich Mountain Fire Tower — 2.4 miles

  • Parking is a short way off the main highway
  • Nice hike either direction
  • Rich Mountain Fire Tower is just 2.4 miles from here for a panoramic view (when open)
  • Hiking south into Hot Springs is mostly downhill and the first mile is an old road
  • Hiking north on the portion from Hurricane Gap toward Allen Gap is one of the prettiest stretches in the county, walking along the top of a ridge past large hardwoods without a strenuous path

Allen Gap (NC 208/TN 70) to Devils Fork Gap (NC 212)  — 20.2 miles

  • Limited parking and somewhat difficult to pull out from parking onto busy highway
  • Hiking north has some interesting sites such as Viking Mountain (Camp Creek Bald), Shelton Graves and White Rock Cliffs

Devils Fork Gap (NC 212/TN 352) to Sams Gap (US 23A)  — 8.2 miles

  • Quite far to drive for parking access
  • Hiking south will get you to White Rock Cliffs and Viking Mountain (Camp Creek Bald)

Sams Gap (US 23A) to Spivey Gap(US 19W)  — 13.6 miles

  • Closest to I-26 for Mars Hill and drive to Tennessee
  • Good parking facilities
  • Hiking south takes you to High Rock in just 1 mile for a good view
  • Hiking north leads to spectacular 360°views from Big Bald Mountain

Madison County also offers experienced Hiking Guide Service.