• Activities:

    Chillin, Camping, Photography, Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Year Round

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    3 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    350 Feet

Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area
Scenic

360 degree vistas of Great Smoky Mountains and Black Mountains.

Max Patch Mountain was once cleared for pasture land, leaving an expansive flat summit that now serves as the ideal location for a picnic hike, flying a kite, or laying in the sun surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains. With little elevation gain and a short distance it is also very family (and dog!) friendly.

A section of the Appalachian Trail crosses right over the bald so keep an eye out for rugged looking looking backpackers who are tackling the AT trek. This also means there is potential to camp/backpack this area, although not on the Max Patch bald itself. Take the AT in either direction and you'll find places to camp without going more than a mile or two.

To find the trailhead from Asheville, head out of town on NC-63 W. Drive 31 miles, turn right on NC 209, staying on for a 1.7 miles then making a series of quick turns; left on Caldwell Mountain Road; right on Meadow Fork Road; left on Little Creek Road; and finally a right onto Max Patch Road. A couple miles up Max Patch Road, look for a large parking lot on the right side of the road. There is an obvious trail leading away from the road and up to Max Patch Mountain.

Pack List

  • Hiking shoes
  • Picnic supplies
  • Camera
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

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Max patch is for sure my favorite place to go and camp because no matter what time of year it is you can always enjoy the absolutely beautiful view from the top.

about 1 month ago
about 1 month ago

A short hike for a great view! Easy enough to pack your picnic and bring it to the top. Not a quick drive though. Be sure you know where you're going, as there's only a few signs and definitely no cell service. Weather can change quick at the top!

8 months ago
8 months ago

This hike may be short, but it is the most beautiful hike on this side of the country. There are two different routes. If you head left from the parking lot it is a bit longer but a much easier ascent. If you head right and follow a trail straight up the mountain it is shorter but very strenuous. We have done both for the heck of it a few times. The best part is seeing all the dogs have a blast. They love running around on the summit. Highly recommend. It's a bit of a drive from Asheville but so incredibly worth it.

9 months ago
9 months ago

Max Patch is one of my favorites if you want to experience a good sunset. You can either hike and make it a longer trek or drive to the base and park. Once on top, you are greeted with beautiful panoramic views. Grab a blanket because it tends to get a little chilly at night, relax, and watch the sunset. I suggest to stargaze a little too!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Max Patch is a favorite of many people in the area as an easy getaway. The road up the mountain take you to a parking lot near the top for a short hike to the summit. At the top, there are 360-degree views and plenty of room to spread out and have fun. I would recommend bringing lunch, a good book, or a football or soccer ball. Definitely a great place to go.

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

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