Max Patch

  • Highlights: mountain views, bald summit, Appalachian Trail
  • Distance:  1.5 mile loop
  • Elevation change:  288 feet
  • Difficulty level: Easy
  • Trailhead Parking: NC State Route 1182 near Hot Springs NC. See link below for directions. The parking area is small with room for about 15 vehicles.
  • Website: US Forest Service
  • Beer Pairings: Wicked Weed Brewing Pernicious IPA and Milk & Cookies stout

The Hike:

This is a fun hike and the short distance, small elevation gain, and great views make it very popular. We visited early in the morning on a rainy weekday in June and the lot was almost full when we arrived. The trail is well marked and there is a kiosk at the trailhead with a map and route description. Max patch is a easy hike with great views, a short section of the Appalachian Trail, and a bald summit to explore.

We went on the spur trail to the left which took us on a slight uphill to the AT and the summit in about ½ mile. Turn right on the AT and note the signs: “Respect the rattlesnakes & ticks privacy, please stay on the trail”. Continue on the AT for about ½ mile and a spur trail will return you to your vehicle. Rain clouds had socked in Max Patch during our visit, it was still pretty cool but we are confident the views are spectacular when the weather is clear.

Hike Photos:

Click on an image below for an enlarged view.

Beer Pairing:

Asheville is a great beer town with many fine craft beer options. One of the breweries that help Asheville earn its beer credibility is Wicked Weed Brewing (91 Biltmore Ave., Asheville, NC). Wicked Weed has several locations in Asheville, we like their brewpub which has an excellent restaurant and still houses their original 15 barrel brewery. We had some great burgers and really enjoyed their flagship IPA Pernicious. It is an outstanding IPA made with ten different types of hops. Pete also likes the Milk & Cookies stout, part of their “Guilty Pleasure” series. It’s like desert in a glass.

Hike and drink responsibly. Never drink and drive. Stay safe and be responsible.