Bailey Mountain Preserve

4.4 Miles – Moderate

Located in Mars Hill, the summit hike at the Bailey Mountain Preserve is known as the Richard L Hoffman Trail and begins just past the kiosk on the north side of the parking lot. 

Trail Description

The hike begins with a scenic ascent through the Smith Property pasture. This open area is excellent for bird-watchers and is home to a wide range of biodiversity. As the trail enters the forest, hikers are greeted with a swinging bench that looks back at the Smith Property. This is a great spot to catch your breath for a moment before beginning more challenging climbs.

After entering the forest, mile markers can be found on the trail every 1/4 mile and yellow blazes indicate you’re on the right trail. The trail winds upwards, and after the 1/4 mile marker there is a breath-taking clearing and bench to capture one last look at the Heritage Farmstead before continuing deeper into the forest.

The single-track trail gently continues ascending before beginning a series of switchbacks. Benches are available to rest nearly every 1/2 mile. Hikers will encounter sections of the trail carefully fitted with stone steps. Be sure to take caution when treading.

Approximately 2 miles into the hike, the trail turns and begins a steeper climb to the summit. Before long, hikers will reach the summit bench as well as the Bailey Mountain signature book. Be sure to sign your name and leave a note about your adventure at the Bailey Mountain Preserve! 

After reaching the summit with an elevation of 3,554 feet, hikers can turn around and begin the descent back to the parking lot at the Smith Property following the yellow-blazed trail they came up on.

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Spectacular view while hiking the Richard L. Hoffman Trail.

Smith Property Heritage Farmstead

These fascinating barns are part of the history of rural Appalachia and Madison County, NC. Each of these unique barns was constructed for a specific purpose in order to serve the agricultural needs of the family that owned it. Learn about how these incredible barns were used at the detailed kiosks located at each of the barns.

To find out more information about the Smith Farm Heritage Farmstead or the Appalachian Barn Alliance, visit:


Driving from Asheville: Take I-26 W towards Weaverville for 16 miles. Take exit 11 and turn left towards Mars Hill/Marshall/NC-213. After 1 mile turn right onto N. Main Street, and shortly after turn left onto Bailey Street. In approximately 1/4 mile, turn left onto Hickory Drive. 1/4 mile further, turn right onto Forest Street. The entrance and parking to the Bailey Mountain Preserve and Smith Property will be located on your left after 1 mile. GPS Address – 885 Forest Street, Mars Hill, NC 28754