Appalachian Trail
Max Patch To Hot Springs

 Date: May 2003

The SWHC traveled north this Labor Day weekend for a 25 mile, three day hike onthe A.T. from Max Patch, North Carolina to Hot Springs, North Carolina.Foster “1st Pilgrim” Parsons was the hike leader of the group, which consisted of Danny Millwood, Mike “Hank” Henshaw, Debbie Snow and her husband Rick “Snowman or Bent Pole?” Snow, and John “Last Man Walking” Keck.Four of the crew, car camped about four miles from the Max Patch trailhead, at the Round Mtn. Campground, while the Snows’ wimped out for an air conditioner and a shower at the Alpine Court in Hot Springs.

With beautiful weather Saturday, we hiked from the Max Patch parking lot, around to the A.T., and over the summit.After some absolutely beautiful 360 degree views, we continued on the rest of the 6 miles to the Roaring Fork shelter where we tent camped.There was plenty of company at the shelter.About 20 other folks, some through hikers, and lots of weekenders, like ourselves.

The next morning we set out on about a 13 miler.The mountain laurel was in full bloom with lots of flame azalea also.I was personally impressed with the other hikers knowledge of the flora and fauna, especially County Agent “Hank’s”.It made the hike much more interesting.After a long, warm and humid day, with a short light rain and what Foster assured us were only a couple more little “blips” on the map (referred to by some others as “bleeping blips”) the Deer Park Gap Shelter was a welcome site.There was another good sized crowd in and around the shelter, but our bunch, being quite exhausted, turned in pretty early.

The next morning while packing our gear, “1st Pilgrim” Parsons thanked us for joining him for his 72nd birthday, of which none of us knew about in advance.We improvised a cake with a Mag Light perched atop a Hersheys Nougat, and all sang Happy Birthday!

A short, almost all downhill, 3 mile hike to the parking lot, just south of Hot Springs, ended a very enjoyable and recommended hike.

See you in July for the SWHC’s trip to Newton’s Bald in the Smokies.

Happy Trails,


                 Group At Max Patch Trailhead                                Group Leader Foster "First Pilgrim" Parsons
                                                                                                                 Tells Us Of The Perils Ahead

                                               Group Enjoys Beautiful Views On The Trail At Max Patch