Max Patch Mountain – Old Time Mountain Living

I found this video on YouTube today…

Located near the North Carolina and Tennessee border in the Newfound Mountains northwest of Asheville, a short drive south of Hot Springs, Max Patch is the southern most bald on the Appalachian Trail. The summit tops out at 4,629 feet.

The trail from the parking lot to the summit of Max Patch is said to be a gentle climb, surrounded by wildflowers in season.

Max Patch was privately owned until 1982 when it was aquired by the Forest Service for the AT.

Max Patch

Hike a section of the famous Appalachian National Scenic Trail (or A.T.) 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.

Two easy loop trails lead you to, and around, the summit. The 1.4-mile short loop crosses the summit. The 2.4 mile loop circles the mountain for outstanding views from all the sides. From the parking lot, follow the marked trail to the left. You will ascend through a forest and then reach the top for amazing views. The rest of the hike is on the grassy bald. You can also hike north or south on the Appalachian Trail for as far as you want.

The Great Smoky Mountains, only 20 miles away, dominate the southwest horizon. To the west the terrain drops over 3600 feet into the flatlands of eastern Tennessee. To the west, 50 miles distant, rises the dark ridgeline of the Black Mountains. Endless ridges and peaks fill in the panorama everywhere else.

Max Patch & Hot Springs, North Carolina Hikes & Hiking Trails.


Max Patch Bald is the kind of place that becomes a part of you after just one trip. The route up to the summit passes through picturesque mountain communities that have largely escaped the mass tourism radar. Passing by old red tobacco barns, little white churches, pumpkin patches, Christmas tree farms, and even the occasional country store, the route eventually starts a long gradual climb through the deep forest. Then out of nowhere it appears, an enormous grassy bald, and what may be the single most stunning view in the entire region.

Though many mountains are higher, none seem so when you are on the summit of Max Patch Bald. On a clear day you will see completely across most of eastern Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains, the Black Mountains, Craggy Mountains, Pisgah Ledge, the Newfound Mountains of Haywood County, and Walnut Mountains of Madison County. Pictures cannot do justice to the summit, a la Sound of Music. This exceptionally beautiful grassy peak is often covered in wildflowers and affords a spectacular 360-degree view. At near the 5,000-foot level, this is one of the first places to see brilliant fall color and substantial snowfall. The one-mile loop trail to the summit is easy to moderate. Take the trail to the left. It is best done in the clockwise direction, saving the steepest sections for the downhill return. You don’t have to be a serious hiker to enjoy what has been called The Crown Jewel of the Appalachian Trail.

Asheville: The Circle Route to Max Patch Bald – TripAdvisor.


Max Patch Mountain Details

Max Patch Mountain is a mountain summit in Madison County in the state of North Carolina (NC). Max Patch Mountain climbs to 4,616 feet (1,406.96 meters) above sea level. Max Patch Mountain is located at latitude – longitude coordinates (also called lat – long coordinates or GPS coordinates) of N 35.797045 and W -82.956811.

Anyone attempting to climb Max Patch Mountain and reach the summit should look for detailed information on the Max Patch Mountain area in the topographic map (topo map) and the Lemon Gap USGS quad. To hike and explore the North Carolina outdoors near Max Patch Mountain, check the list of nearby trails.

Max Patch Mountain Summit – North Carolina Mountain Peak Information.

Directions: From Hot Springs head south on NC 209 for 7 miles. Turn right onto NC1175. Drive 5 miles to Max Patch Road (NC1182). Proceed 3 miles to the parking area at the foot of the Bald.

Related Links

Max Patch Road – My Viewfinder – John Roberts

Fall Barn; On Max Patch Mountain – My Viewfinder – John Roberts

The Rural Life – Back to Bare Ground

The new year is always a kind of chronological trope, an imaginary point of debarkation. We are so deeply knotted to time past and time future that come Jan. 1, we are hardly shoving off for parts unknown. Still, the change implicit in the new year can be a mental leap forward, a recasting of the imagination. Entering the new year also can be an act of conscience, and more so this year than in many years past.

Somehow it’s fitting to come into the new year on bare ground, even as the snow is gathering again. It makes it so much easier to take account of the work to be done, the decisions to be made and, for that matter, unmade. Some years it is just a gray transition from one calendar to the next, the resumption of a postponed meeting and an old agenda. But that is not how this new year feels. Time for the rotting fence posts to be replaced, the sagging gates to be rehung.

The Rural Life – Back to Bare Ground – Editorial –

The image conjured up by the above comes easier to me this year than it ever has in the past. I am starting 2009 with my life barer than it has been in many years. A prime place to begin rebuilding who and what I want my life to be. The old year brought an end to the life that was. The safe, the familiar, the known…What comes next, both for me and the country is not known with any degree of certainty. But life will continue, the family will endure, as will the country. New directions, new paths, new objectives…New life.

The move to the mountains becomes more pressing as the world changes in all of the wrong ways. The climate, the economy, the world political stage…All are looking pretty grim. A place less crowded, not so close to a major metropolitan area, is becoming a real draw.

Personally, the mountains call me…Especially as I sit here on the third day of the new year, in what feels like summer weather in the North Carolina and Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains. Of course, there are trade offs…Winters in the mountains are a bit cooler to say the least. But, to be able to enjoy spring…and summer…and fall, not just a few days each winter…It is a dream, a plan, a goal…

Merry Christmas

From Coffee Muses

A fifty year old Christmas Card greeting being sent from my family one more time just as it was in 1958. Merry Christmas all…

I’ll be doing the family bit for the next couple of days. Y’all enjoy the holiday and I’ll catch ya on the other side…

"Too Pretty to Develop" – FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway

The Conservation Trust for North Carolina (CTNC) has purchased the 101-acre Jackson Knob Cove tract in McDowell County, on the Blue Ridge escarpment in the Catawba River Basin. The property, near milepost 326, is visible from Altapass Orchard and several overlooks along the Parkway north of Little Switzerland.

The property was owned by Augusta Developers, LLC, represented by Johnny Craver of Mooresville and Fred Suther of Concord. They planned to subdivide it into 21 house lots. Instead, over time, Craver grew to love the beauty of the landscape and the scenery around it.

“It’s just magnificent. It’s so pretty that it’s impossible not to have a good view anywhere you go on it,” Craver said. “It’s probably the only property I’ve ever seen in my life that was too pretty to develop.”

“Too Pretty to Develop” – FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

One of my favorite areas of the Blue Ridge Parkway will saty just as beautiful tomorrow as it was on my last visit.

Sharing the dream…Not the path

I stumbled upon this today…

The Way Home.

If you are a lover of straight lines and tidy endings, be forewarned. This is not a straightforward drive from point A to point B. It will meander and ramble in an untidy way.

I flew the terrain in my mind’s eye as a hawk might, swooping in to assuage my sharp hunger with live and tender bits, soaring from the flatland piney woods of northwest Florida to the dusky mountain peaks of Western North Carolina. But in the end, the crude map I drew with the pen moving and my eyes closed, was of my own heart. It is bisected with a fault line down the middle: one chamber is Rice Cove, near Canton, North Carolina; the other is Cantonment, near Pensacola, Florida.

Go read the rest at Switched At Birth.

Watauga County Farmers' Market | Please Support Local Farmers

Watauga County Farmers’ Market will be having the first holiday market of the season this Saturday, November 22 from 10 to 2. We are expecting more vendors this year and you will have a wide selection to choose from.

Cold weather has slowed many of the local vegetables, but Shiloh Avery and Jason Roehrig of Tumbling Shoals Farm will be harvesting a nice variety of fresh treats including kale, collards, mustard, carrots, chard, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, beets, salad mix, spinach, arugula, mesclin and salad turnips. Charles Church will have four kinds of potatoes: Yukon Gold, Rose Finn, Apple Fingerling and Red Norland. Charles will also have garlic, butternut squash, Swiss chard, parsley, carrots, onions, apples and sweet sorghum molasses. Eugene McGuire and James Wagner will have fresh eggs from free range chickens.

Watauga County Farmers’ Market | Please Support Local Farmers.

Look’s like a good time to start thinking about those Chrismas gifts…Wish I was in the area.

"I walk the Earth"

For almost three decades, John Francis has been a planetwalker, traveling the globe by foot and sail with a message of environmental respect and responsibility (for 10 of those years without speaking). A funny, thoughtful talk with occasional banjo.

Missed The Blue Ridge This Year…

It looks like we won’t get the opportunity to roam the Parkway this year.

November 2007
From 2007 Vacation

No Craggy Garden sunrises, no foggy mornings above Valle Crucis, no apples from the Orchard at Altapass, no shopping trip down King Street.

November 2007
From 2007 Vacation

I missed another Valle Country Fair.I didn’t make it to the Games this year either.

July 2006
From North Carolina Mountain Dreams

There wasn’t an afternoon spent up on Grandfather…or Grassy Knob…or Roan…or Mitchell either.

No walks in the Valle Crucis Park, no trips to the Mast Store.

July 2006
From North Carolina Mountain Dreams

No pizza on top of Beech. No bar-b-q and bluegrass in Linville. No outdoor grilling on the deck above Clark Creek.

No morning coffee as the sun comes over the mountain and the valley fog rises to meet it. No evening glass of wine waiting for the stars and the fireflies to come out to play.

June 2004
From North Carolina Mountain Dreams

I missed the blue ridges fading into the dusk and I missed them when they faded back to blue again the next morning.

As I stare off into the distance here at home, my mind tries to make the tree line across the pasture become the ridges of the mountains from my memory…The layers of branches take on the look of the layers of ridges when my eyes let my memory take over…

In the years that I miss making the trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains, I feel the call stronger with each passing month…Next year…

Next year I’ll get there…Next year we’ll make the move…Next year we’ll make it permanent…Next year…

Maybe I’ll see you there…Next year.

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Record Low Temperature Tied at Grandfather Mountain – Constantly Updated High Country NC News Source

It has been a season of extremes for Grandfather Mountain.

Earlier in the month, the tourist attraction experienced record highs for two days in a row, but unseasonably cold weather tied the record for the daily low temperature in Wednesday.

The reading was taken at the official US Weather Service reporting station located next to the Mile High Swinging Bridge on Grandfather Mountain.

The temperature dipped to 18 degrees early in the morning tying the previous daily low record for the day set in 1968.

The all time lowest temperature ever recorded in October at Grandfather Mountain is 12 degrees on October 26th, back in 1962.

The storm also brought high winds and snow to the area. – Record Low Temperature Tied at Grandfather Mountain – Constantly Updated High Country NC News Source.