Hot Springs, North Carolina: An Appalachian Trail Community

The iconic caboose in Hot Springs, North Carolina ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

The iconic caboose in Hot Springs, North Carolina ~~ Photograph by Robert Sutherland

More than 70 years ago, the Appalachian Trail (AT) was blazed to run right through Hot Springs, North Carolina on main street. Cool idea then. Cool idea today. The AT crosses the French Broad River and climbs up to what's called Lover's Leap.

Simply follow the AT's white blazes -- and for goodness sake, get some counseling before you do anything rash at the top, please. (Ever wonder if there's any historical connection between Lover's Leap and the namesake of the French Broad River? Ooh, la la.)

Hot Springs is loved for its scenery and the kind residents who welcome hikers on the Appalachian Trail.

Vicinities designated as an Appalachian Trail Community(TM) by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) agree to help the ATC promote and preserve the vital treasure of the 2,181 mile AT.

Towns, counties, and communities along the AT corridor are assets to hikers. Many of these towns are especially good friends and neighbors to the Trail. Designation as an Appalachian Trail Community has these benefits:

  • Engage community citizens, Trail visitors and stewards
  • Recognize and thank communities for their service to the Trail and hikers
  • Act as a catalyst for enhancing sustainable economic development
  • Aid local municipalities and regional areas with conservation planning
  • Help local community members see the Trail as a resource and asset

An advisory committee was created to represent Hot Springs and Madison County in forming alliances with local and county leadership, businesses, the Town of Hot Springs, Land of Sky Regional Council, Hot Springs Tourism Association, Madison County Parks and Recreation, Madison County Arts Council, Mars Hill College and Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.

In November 2006, more than 100 people joined together to celebrate the AT and provide information on the trail to others in the community. ATC used the opportunity to express its gratitude for the town's years of support. The forum helped ensure that ordinances and land-use planning regulations would not impact the AT negatively.

We are all thankful for the support of our allies in Hot Springs, North Carolina.

Click Here for Hot Springs, NC: An Appalachian Trail Community

About the Author Robert Sutherland:
Robert Sutherland is a travel writer enjoying life. Robert has two adult daughters and six grandchildren.
Related Articles

Trailfest 2014 in Hot Springs, North Carolina, celebrates the Appalachian Trail with a parade all the way through town to honor those who tread the Trail.

Published Apr 7, 2015. Friendly volunteers are needed at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy Offices in Boiling Springs, PA. If you're a People Person, the welcome center needs you.

Only the most friendly and dedicated towns are appointed official Appalachian Trail Communities by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

Hot Springs, NC, is the host of Trailfest 2016 over the weekend of April 15th. It's a small town Appalachian Trail blast.

Read about the most famous places on the Appalachian Trail.