Sam’s Gap on the Appalachian Trail near Mars Hill, North Carolina

Sams Gap Access Point is the closest accessible place on the Appalachian Trail to the Mars Hill area or the route on I 26 from Tennessee into North Carolina. It has one of the nicer parking areas for Trail access in Madison County. There is a nice hike for under 2 miles going south to High Rock for a good view.

Going north toward Spivey Gap, Big Bald Mountain (6.5 miles) affords another spectacular 360° view from a high elevation. Big Bald is the highest elevation in Madison County at 5516'. From Sams Gap on the Appalachian Trail, Devils Fork Gap is 8.2 miles and Spivey Gap (in Tennessee) is 13.6 miles.

Sites on the Trail from Sams Gap:

2 miles hiking south to Devils Fork is High Rock which provides a good view when not overgrown with summer vegetation

6.5 miles hiking north to Spivey Gap is Big Bald Mountain where you have 360° views from an elevation of 5516' which is the highest in Madison County

Driving Directions to Parking: GPS Location: N 35° 57.133’ W082° 33.652’

From Mars Hill: Take I 26 toward Tennessee to Exit 3. At the bottom of the ramp, turn right onto Bear Branch Road and then left onto NC Highway 23A. Stay on NC Highway 23A for 3.1 miles for Parking Access on the left side of the highway just before the I 26 overpass.

Hiking the Trail:

To hike the trail north to Spivey Gap ( 13.6 miles), cross the highway to the gate for the Trail. This trail goes to Spivey Gap which is the next parking access point but is in Tennessee.

To hike the trail south to Devils Fork Gap (8.2 miles), walk under the I 26 overpass to the trail on the left side of the highway. Go up the road and look for the signs on the left side.

 

Featured Businesses in Madison County

Hot Springs Rafting Company

Hot Springs Rafting Company

Hot Springs, North Carolina
877 530-7238

Hot Springs Rafting Company

Sandy Bottom Trail Rides

Sandy Bottom Trail Rides

Marshall, North Carolina
(828) 649-3464

Sandy Bottom Trail Rides

Toops Photojournalist Services

Toops Photojournalist Services

Marshall, North Carolina
(828) 649-3276

Toops Photojournalist Services

French Broad Rafting and Ziplines

French Broad Rafting and Ziplines

Marshall, North Carolina
(800) 570-7238

French Broad Rafting and Ziplines

The Berry Farm, LLC

The Berry Farm, LLC

Marshall, North Carolina
(828) 656-2056

The Berry Farm, LLC

Sweet Monkey Bakery & Cafe

Sweet Monkey Bakery & Cafe

Marshall, North Carolina
(828) 649-2489

Sweet Monkey Bakery & Cafe

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort

Mars Hill, North Carolina
(828) 689-4119

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort

Little Creek Cafe

Little Creek Cafe

Mars Hill
(828) 689-2307

Little Creek Cafe

Walnut Creek Gallery

Walnut Creek Gallery

Marshall, North Carolina
(828) 649-0568

Walnut Creek Gallery

Mad Co. Brew House

Mad Co. Brew House

Marshall, North Carolina
828-649-8600

Mad Co. Brew House

Madison County Tourism Development Authority

56 South Main Street
Mars Hill, NC 28754

Click here for Driving Directions

Contact
 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Local: (828) 680-9031

Toll Free: (877) 262-3476

Mailing Address: PO Box 1527
    Mars Hill, NC 28754