Hike Max Patch Mountain

3 miles 350 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Justin Costner

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.

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Tags

Chillin
Camping
Photography
Backpacking
Hiking
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area
Scenic

Reviews

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Explorer

🥇Top Contributor

2 months ago

Great Hike!

This place is truly amazing and holds a special place in my heart. Although camping is not specifically allowed enough people do it that its basically allowed.

🥇Top Contributor

3 months ago

Easy walk for expansive views

Max Patch is a summertime favorite. You can usually expect to see plenty of other campers on a clear night. Its actually a really great atmosphere if you're wanting to socialize with other like-minded folks.

breathtakingly beautiful!

this has got to be one of my favorite places to camp. it's not a long or strenuous hike to the top so you can bring more comfort items! the view from the summit is absolutely unforgettable! you can get an amazing sunset and sunrise all in the same campsite because of the 360 degree view from you there. it is a rough road up however so make sure to drive something capable to handle the gravel road.

🥉Contributor

over 2 years ago

Quick jaunt to open skies

This is a very quick hike from the parking area (very different than arriving via the AT) - the elevation is intense for just a moment before you crest onto the bald and then the views hit you. 360 degrees of rolling mountains, right in the middle of the Appalachian Trail. Take a picnic or a kite. Camping is allowed here - just be sure to get to your spot early before other campers arrive - and be prepared to hike to dig your cathole. Bring warm clothes. If you come during winter months, don’t be disappointed if there’s a surprise snow that blots out your view - the whiteout is another staggering form of beauty to take in.

🥈 Contributor

over 3 years ago

Great View of the NC Mountains

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!

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