The Ultimate Guide To Asheville and the Western North Carolina Mountains
The Ultimate Guide to Asheville & the Western North Carolina Mountains

The Online Version of the Best-selling Regional Guidebook

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Max Patch

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Best places in Asheville to fill a picnic basket!

Max Patch is one of Western North Carolina’s best kept secrets, and it is located about 40 miles north of Asheville in the Hot Springs area. It is 300 acres of a grassy bald that is 4,629 feet at its highest point, and from which, on clear days, one can see Mount Mitchell to the east and the Great Smokies far off in the west! Some balds are naturally occurring areas in the mountains where trees do not grow and only flowers and grasses have taken hold. In Max’s case, evidently it was cleared by sheep and cattle in the 1800s and has remained as such, with a little mowing help from the U.S. Forest Service. Max Patch is a premier example of a southern mountain bald, and if you have a half-day free, it is well worth the trip. Absolute panoramic views and a thousand places to picnic or camp await those making the trip.
    The area is closed to motor vehicles however, although there is road access and parking near the summit, which requires about 1/4 mile uphill walk. Visitors are encouraged to travel the area by foot and enjoy the fresh mountain air and clear views of open country. Many visitors come to Max Patch to camp, fly kites and walk the Appalachian Trail.

Website: Max Patch
Location: Madison County, North Carolina
Distance: 1 hour from Asheville
Tips: Bring a picnic lunch and a jacket. It is usually 10 degrees cooler on the bald.
Of Note: Max Patch is on the Appalachian Scenic National Trail, and in the Pisgah National Forest
Allow: six hours, including travel to and from Asheville
Directions: From Asheville take Leicester Hwy. North 30 miles to NC 209. Follow 209 about 7 miles to Meadow Fork Rd. (State Rd. 1175). Follow this road south 5.3 miles to State Rd. 1181. Follow 1181 for 2 miles (will turn into gravel). At the top of the mountain, the road intersects with State Rd. 1182. Turn right and drive about 3 miles to the Max Patch parking area, which will be on your right. From the parking area, it is a short 1.4 miles to the top.

Wild & Furry Animals of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, by Lee James Pantas



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