Hike the Appalachian Trail in Madison County, North Carolina

While some hikers do hike the entire Appalachian Trail (the AT), the vast majority of hikers choose to enjoy smaller sections of the trail. From several access points in Madison County, you can hike the southern Appalachians and you don’t have to be a serious hiker. Enjoy the beauty of the AT when spring wildflowers are blooming, or in the fall at peak color foliage season, or any time during the year just for the simple enjoyment.

Get away and enjoy the serenity and camaraderie of hiking a nature trail that is open only to walkers, hikers, and backpackers—and dogs. The trail runs for over 60 miles in Madison County through the Pisgah National Forest. There are 8 parking access points in the county which lead to trails that vary from 6 miles to 20 miles in length to the next access point. If you want to use a shuttle service to get you to an access point, we have that available, too. Or you can walk out for a while and come back to the same point. You won’t find the crowds that you may have encountered in National Parks across the country. That’s the beauty and serenity of the Trail.

Additionally, Max Patch has two self-contained loop trails from its parking area. Max Patch is a “bald”–a mountain summit or crest where you would normally expect heavy forest growth, but, instead, it is covered by thick vegetation of and shrubs. In Madison County, the Appalachian Trail winds its way through a unique stretch of the Southern Blue Ridge—namely, the Bald Mountain range, the greatest part of which are is in Madison County, the only county along the Appalachian Trail to claim this distinction. Big Bald Mountain straddles the Madison/Yancey County line on the AT at the opposite end from the Max Patch Bald.

At one section, the AT runs through the main street of the town of Hot Springs. So, if you want to hike the entire width of the Appalachian Trail (and, yes, you can buy a T Shirt with that phrase), just stand on Bridge Street near one of the trail markers embedded in the sidewalk!

Madison County also offers experienced Hiking Guide Service.

For more information about the Appalachian Trail in other areas, go to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy website.

Featured Businesses in Madison County

French Broad Rafting and Ziplines

9800 Old US highway 25-70 Marshall, North Carolina 28753
(800) 570-7238

French Broad Rafting and Ziplines

Hot Springs Rafting Company

22 U.S. 25 Hot Springs, North Carolina 28743
877 530-7238

Hot Springs Rafting Company

Little Creek Cafe

11660 U.S. 23 Mars Hill, 28754
(828) 689-2307

Little Creek Cafe

The Berry Farm, LLC

2260 Revere Road Marshall, North Carolina 28753
(828) 656-2056

The Berry Farm, LLC

Sandy Bottom Trail Rides

1459 Caney Fork Road Marshall, North Carolina 28753
(828) 649-3464

Sandy Bottom Trail Rides

Toops Photojournalist Services

774 Wilson Cove Branch Road Marshall, North Carolina 28753
(828) 649-3276

Toops Photojournalist Services

Sweet Monkey Bakery & Cafe

133 South Main Street Marshall, North Carolina 28753
(828) 649-2489

Sweet Monkey Bakery & Cafe

Walnut Creek Gallery

2970 Walnut Creek Road Marshall, North Carolina 28753
(828) 649-0568

Walnut Creek Gallery

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort

578 Valley View Circle Mars Hill, North Carolina 28754
(828) 689-4119

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort

Mosaic Gourmet

159 Bridge Street Hot Springs, North Carolina 28743
828-622-9400

Mosaic Gourmet

Madison County Tourism Development Authority

56 South Main Street
Mars Hill, NC 28754

Click here for Driving Directions

Contact
 

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Local: (828) 680-9031

Toll Free: (877) 262-3476

Mailing Address: PO Box 1527
    Mars Hill, NC 28754