Max Patch

1.7 Miles – Easy

Max Patch is a staple of the Appalachian Mountains and Madison County. With breath-taking 360 degree views on the Appalachian Trail and in the Pisgah National Forest, people come from all over to experience the beauty of the mountains. Located on the Appalachian Trail, many thru-hikers consider this area of the entire Appalachian Trail the most stunning. Day-hikers of all abilities will find something to enjoy on this 1.7 mile round-trip hike well-maintained trails.

This bald is the perfect spot for a picnic, photo session or to simply relax in awe-inducing nature.

Max Patch is also a favorite spot for tent camping. Please be sure to take any litter with you and to prepare accordingly as there are no restrooms or trash cans near Max Patch.

Max Patch provides unparalleled views anytime of the year and anytime of the day. This hike is a great one to revisit during different times of the year as the colors vary wildly.

The 6 mile, gravel road to get to Max Patch is rough and it’s recommended that all visitors have a 4-wheel drive vehicle to reach the parking area.

PLEASE NOTE: Respecting nature is an essential responsibility we bear as inhabitants of this planet. By treating nature with reverence and care, we acknowledge its intrinsic value and the profound impact it has on our lives. It involves mindful consumption, minimizing waste, and adopting eco-friendly alternatives. Embracing nature’s beauty and power, we strive to preserve its pristine landscapes, clean air, and pure waters for future generations. Please be mindful when hiking our trails, rafting our rivers and exploring our beautiful mountains. Please leave no trace and respect the nature of Madison County, North Carolina during your visit. Click here to find out more about respecting nature in Madison County, NC.


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, and the road almost immediately becomes gravel. This usually well-graded road climbs steadily but never steeply 6.2 miles to SR-1182 (Max Patch Road).