Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2017 - 15
The GOOD WALK
What Better Way to End the Day...
...than with an hour soak in a Jacuzzi-style tub filled
with the naturally heated mineral water of Hot Springs
Resort and Spa (nchotsprings.com). Of course, you
could make it even better by following your soak with a
75-minute rosemary mint sugar scrub.
down on its six-foot wingspan.
Leaving the river, the A.T. negotiates a series of
switchbacks leading to the three rock outcroppings of
Lover's Leap. While all have nice views, the one reached
by a short side trail provides the most sweeping and impressive vista. Directly below, the small falls and rapids
churn up whitewater as the French Broad wends its way
westward. Across the river, Deer Park Mountain provides the backdrop for the small town laid out along the
flat valley floor.
I could have opted for a shorter outing by taking the
Lover's Leap Trail to the left to arrive back in town for
a walk that would have totaled less than 2 miles. Instead, I continue on the A.T. to rise onto Lover's Leap
Ridge (with nice winter views) for 2 miles before turning
left onto Pump Gap Loop Trail. This option soon makes
another left to follow rhododendron-lined Silvermine
Creek back to town for a total of 5.4 miles.
The Appalachian Trail makes its way through downtown Hot Springs,
WHEN YOU GO
The Walk: An easy 1.5-mile walking tour of Hot Springs,
followed by a moderately strenuous hike of 5.4 miles to
Lover's Leap and beyond on the Appalachian Trail.
Getting There: From Marshall, North Carolina, follow
U.S. 25N/U.S. 70W for 14.2 miles to parking areas in
downtown Hot Springs.
More Information: "Hiking the Carolina Mountains," by
Danny Bernstein provides a detailed description of the
outings via the Appalachian Trail.
Find out more about Leonard's walking and hiking
adventures at habitualhiker.com.
THE CHRISTMAS CAPITAL
* Festival of Trees
* Christmas Parade
* Carriage Rides
* Artisan Christmas Markets
* Wine Trail Open Houses
* The Famous "Elks Home Light Display"
* Candlelight Tours of Thomas Jefferson's
* Flames of Memory at the National
* Peaks of Otter Lodge Special Events
And much more!
A perfect weekend getaway!
Bedford Area Welcome Center & Tourism
816 Burks Hill Road, Bedford, VA 24523
540-587-5681 * 1-877-447-3257
November/December 2017 15