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North Carolina

Hike the Lovers Leap Loop Trail

1.8 Miles Total - 472 ft gain - Loop Trail

Originally added by Fiona Zaloshnja

A short but strenuous, lightly-trafficked hike with 3 great, west-facing vistas overlooking the French Broad River. 45 mins away from Asheville, NC.

Lovers Leap Loop trail is a 1.8 mile loop in Hot Springs, NC. The address of the trailhead is 138 Silver Mine Rd, Hot Springs, NC 28743. Once you arrive at the parking lot, you will see a trail leading up into the mountain with a post next to it. This is where you want to begin. It is part of the Appalachian Trail, so you will be following the white blazes all the way through. 

The trail greets you with a canopy of magnolia trees, which hug the trail the whole way and provide beautiful greenery even in the cold month of March.  The trail is pretty narrow with switchbacks most of the way, I wouldn't recommend bringing a dog. The hike up is short, but gains elevation quickly. There are 3 main overlooks to enjoy on this trail. You will reach the first two overlooks at the top of the trail. Then follow the Appalachian Trail south . The trail starts descending for a bit and you get to the 3rd overlook, the rocky ledge this trail is named after. 

This is a 300 foot cliff overlooking the French Broad. Legend has it, a native american woman, Mist-on-the-mountain, leapt to her death here, in the throes of despair, after her lover Magwa was killed. The overlook provides gorgeous views of the French Broad River and mountain scenery surrounding the area, great for sunset.

To get back to the parking area, descend south along the Appalachian Trail until the trail comes to a T, turn to the right here. You will continue along this flat section of trail which runs along the river. The trail will come to an end at the paved road you pulled in on, turn to the right to get back to the parking area. 

We noticed a few backpacking campsites with fire pits along the riverside near the end of the trail. There's also a campsite across the river run by Hot Spring Resort and Spa. A primitive campsite is $30 for the night, including a fire pit and a picnic table. During the on-season, they have hot showers and bathrooms. 

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Mountain Biking
Easy Parking


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