“A commonly used horse and llama trail that is just off of Max Patch Road.
— Max Willner
Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers
Max Patch is open year-round.
This is an out-and-back route that leads off of Max Patch Road, where it heads out and around Max Patch Mountain and back. This is a great way to slightly extend the Max Patch Mountain Loop for those looking to get in a bit more adventure during the day. For those riding horses, it's a fun trail to head out on for a scenic journey, and it loops back towards Max Patch Road. It also briefly connects to the Appalachian Trail AT, providing a great variety of trails from which runners can begin their adventure.
The trail is open to both foot traffic and pack animals, and offers excellent views of distant mountains and endless forests along the ridge just south of the Max Patch Mountain Loop. Don't be surprised to see the occasional llama convoy!
From Hot Springs follow Hwy 209 South. Turn right onto Meadow Fork Road at the Max Patch sign. Turn right onto SR 1181 and follow the signs to the parking lot.
Directions via I-40 from Asheville: Take I-40 West about 40 miles to exit 7 (Harmon's Den). Take a right on Cold Springs Road. This gravel road leads to SR-1182 (Max Patch Rd). It's recommended that drivers take a 4WD vehicle in inclement weather, as handling may prove difficult. Turn left and drive 1.5 miles to the Max Patch parking area on the right.
Flora & Fauna
There are blackberry bushes, rhododendrons and coniferous trees, including a variety of wildflowers that cover the mountain in the spring.
This is also a great location for birding enthusiasts; such species include but are certainly not limited to: Black-throated Blue Warblers, Black-throated Green Warblers, Blackburnian Warblers, Blue-headed Vireos, Brewster's Warbler, Canada Warblers, Chestnut-sided Warblers, Dark-eyed Juncos, Golden-winged Warblers, Goldfinches, Red-Winged Blackbirds, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Scarlet Tanagers, and Yellow-breasted Chat.