With its namesake springs and abundance of incredible hikes, Hot Springs is the perfect spot to sneak away to for a daycation. Of course, the perfect way to start a day in Hot Springs is with a hike to Lover’s Leap, a stunning rock outcropping along the AT. At around 2 miles, it’s a fairly quick hike, but you’ll want to build in some extra time to enjoy the incredible views.
Distance: 2-mile loop
Map: USGS Hot Springs
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate, the trail itself is fairly easy, but does feature some steep spots.
Directions: From downtown Hotsprings, take Bridge Street over the railroad tracks and continue to cross over the French Broad. Immediately after the crossing, keep right and head down the steps to continue on the AT. After about 50 yards, you’ll cross a small wooden bridge, continue along this path following the white blazes. At the top of the ridge, you’ll come to a series of 3 rock outcroppings, the second is Lover’s Leap. After the third outcropping, you can extend your hike by continuing on the AT, or turn left for the Silvermine trail, that will take you back to where you began.