With over 55,000 acres of National forest and the incredible natural beauty of the Blue Ridge mountains there are numerous local hikes withing a short drive of the Marshall House Inn. Some of our favorites are listed below.
Laurel River Trail
The Laurel River trail actually follows Laurel Creek for 3.6 miles and is one of our favorite hikes. The hike itself is on an old railroad roadbed alongside the creek and is fairly level making it ideal for families and those who don’t want a strenuous hike. The creek itself is lovely, strewn with rocks and home to beavers and other critters. You may even see a bear. Towards the end of the trail are the remains of buildings used when the area was being logged. The hike ends at the French Broad river where you’ll probably be able to see rafters headed to Hot Springs.
The Appalachian Trail was built through Madison County and the town of Hot Springs over seven decades ago, and today white blazes still mark the path through town and over the bridge across the French Broad River, before heading north up to the vista, Lover’s Leap. There are several nice day hike options in the area.
Hike a section of the famous Appalachian National Trail on top of Max Patch Mountain near Hot Springs. This 4,600-foot mountain was cleared and used as pasture in the 1800s. Today, it’s a 350-acre tract of open land on a high knob with 360-degree views. On a clear day, you can see from Mt. Mitchell on the east to the Great Smoky Mountains on the south. What a picnic spot! And great for star gazing and enjoying wildflowers. The summit is a short walk from the parking lot. Max Patch is part of the Pisgah National Forest.