Tanyard Gap on the Appalachian Trail near Hot Springs, North Carolina

Tanyard Gap Access Point on the Appalachian Trail is easy to reach from a major highway and allows good parking space. The hike south to Hot Springs is mostly downhill. The first mile is on an old road and at the end you have a 1/2 mile section of walk along the French Broad River as you come into the town.

Hiking north to Allen Gap, there is a Fire Tower at the top of Rich Mountain 2.4 miles up. A possibility is to park at Tanyard Gap and hike from the top of Rich Mountain down to Tanyard Gap.

Parking is limited at Rich Mountain Fire Tower but (when your time is limited) it’s the best spot in the county to shuttle up to the top and then walk down because it’s just 2.4 miles to Tanyard Gap. The drive up to the Fire Tower is 5.9 miles but as it is gravel road, it takes awhile at 10-15 mph. From Hurricane Gap (4.6 miles driving up Lookout Mountain Road) to Allen Gap is one of the prettiest stretches of the Trail in Madison County. It’s not very strenuous and you will walk along the top of a ridge past large hardwood trees. From Tanyard Gap on the Appalachian Trail, the Town of Hot Springs is 5.9 miles and Allen Gap is 8.8 miles.

Sites on the Trail from Tanyard Gap to Allen Gap:

There is a wonderful view from the top of the Rich Mountain Fire Tower (Elev 3550')–when access is open to the stairs.

There is another spot along Lookout Mountain (the road to the top) at Hurricane Gap (4.6 miles up) but there is no designated parking there. You would have to park on the side of the road or near the gate for the unused forest service road. Or you could shuttle up to there and walk down.

Note on the elevations for hiking up to the Fire Tower: Tanyard Gap is 2280'; Hurricane Gap is 2900' and Rich Mountain Fire Tower is 3550'.

Driving Directions to Parking: GPS location = N35° 59.2’ W082° 47.2’

From Hot Springs: Take US Highway 25 south for 2.7 miles from the junction of US Highway 25 and River Road. You will go under a bridge that is the AT. Turn left just past the overpass to Parking for Access. After turning left, make another left turn toward the Mill Ridge Bike Route. Park at the north end of the one-lane bridge over US Highway 25.

From Mars Hill or Marshall: Take US Highway 25/70 to the junction with NC Highway 208. Go left on US Highway 25 for 1.9 miles and turn right for access parking. (This is just before an overpass which is where the AT crosses over US Highway 25.) After turning right, make a left turn toward the Mill Ridge Bike Route. Park at the north end of the one-lane bridge over US Highway 25.

Hiking the Trail:

To hike north to Rich Mountain Fire Tower (2.4 miles), go the direction of the blaze in the woods.

To hike south to Hot Springs (5.9 miles), go the direction of the one-lane bridge over US Highway 25.

Featured Businesses in Madison County

Mosaic Gourmet

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

Mosaic Gourmet

Walnut Creek Gallery

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

Walnut Creek Gallery

Sandy Bottom Trail Rides

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

Sandy Bottom Trail Rides

The Berry Farm, LLC

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

The Berry Farm, LLC

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

Sweet Monkey Bakery & Cafe

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

Sweet Monkey Bakery & Cafe

Toops Photojournalist Services

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

Toops Photojournalist Services

Mad Co. Brew House

45 North Main Street Marshall, North Carolina 28753
828-649-8600

Mad Co. Brew House

Little Creek Cafe

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

Little Creek Cafe

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