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Hot Springs, North Carolina, (population 567) is perhaps best known for its hot mineral springs, but you can certainly find many other things to do! This village in Madison County is located just 40 minutes north of Asheville at the junction of the Appalachian Trail (goes right through downtown) and the French Broad River. Surrounded by the Pisgah National Forest, Hot Springs is a haven for those seeking outdoor adventure, healing and relaxation, or a quiet romantic getaway.

Hot Springs Lovers Leap

Outdoor Adventure
This is definitely the place for outdoor enthusiasts, especially since hikers on the famous Appalachian Trail walk through the middle of town and whitewater enthusiasts love the rapids on the French Broad River (see their Hot Springs whitewater rafting guide). The view of Hot Springs above is from the Lover's Leap hike on the AT (must do!). Go mountain biking, take a llama trek, fish a while or take a horseback ride. Or hike the grassy meadow atop Max Patch. And hike or drive to the Rich Mountain Lookout Tower.

Hot Mineral Springs

Hot Springs Soak
Soak in the natural hot mineral waters, heated deep within the earth at the legendary Hot Springs Resort and Spa. These crystal clear carbonated waters are world famous for their legendary healing powers. They pipe the water into modern outdoor Jacuzzi type hot tubs that are drained and sanitized after each use. They also have a staff of massage therapists and a campground. Outdoor mineral baths ranging from 98-102 degrees are available seven days a week, year-round. Read more about a soak.

Dining and Shopping
With dining that ranges from the gourmet lovers' fare to country cookin' to steak and seafood with adult beverages from local breweries, Hot Springs has foods to entice any taste bud. Go to the Hot Springs Web site for a list of restaurants. Specialty shops in town carry a variety of goods, from local arts and crafts at ArtiSun Gallery to outdoor provisions and fishing gear at Bluff Mountain Outfitters.

Lodging
A wide range of accommodations await the weary travelers in Hot Springs, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Within this picturesque mountain town is everything from rustic camping or a hostel to secluded log cabin vacation rentals to romantic bed and breakfast inns. Go to the Hot Springs Web site for places to stay.

Weddings
The romantic setting of Hot Springs is the backdrop to many destination weddings and honeymoons. Stay in a quaint bed and breakfast, mountain cabin or cottage, stroll through the shops and dine in one of the local restaurants (no restaurant chains here).

French Broad River, Hot Springs

Walk across the bridge over the French Broad River (on the Appalachian Trail) for this spectacular view.

Directions from Asheville
From I-240 in the downtown area, take exit 4A onto Highway I-26W and U.S. 19/23 North toward Weaverville. Go 8.5 miles until you see a sign that says Hot Springs 2nd right (U.S. Highway 25/70). Follow Highway 25/70 North about 28 miles to Hot Springs, North Carolina.

The town of Marshall is just 16 miles away (on the way from Asheville). See our Madison County Guide for more things to do nearby.

Featured in Hot Springs

NOC French Broad River Rafting

Take a guided whitewater rafting trip near Asheville on the scenic French Broad River with its splashy Class II and III rapids! Ideal for families and groups. The full-day trip finishes with Frank Bell's Rapid, a thrilling Class IV drop.

Max Patch on Appalachian Trail

(1.4 or 2.4 miles, moderate) Hike a section of the famous Appalachian National Scenic Trail (or AT) near Hot Springs. What a picnic spot with 360-degree mountain views! The 1.4-mile short loop… read more

(1.4 or 2.4 miles, moderate) Hike a section of the famous Appalachian National Scenic Trail (or AT) near Hot Springs. What a picnic spot with 360-degree mountain views! The 1.4-mile short loop crosses the summit. The 2.4-mile loop circles the mountain for outstanding views from all the sides. Or extend your hike in either direction of the AT.

Appalachian Medley Scenic Byway

The 45-mile North Carolina Scenic Byway is named for the rich history of local music. It follows NC 209 from Lake Junaluska to Hot Springs, through farmland and Pisgah National Forest. Stop at the… read more

The 45-mile North Carolina Scenic Byway is named for the rich history of local music. It follows NC 209 from Lake Junaluska to Hot Springs, through farmland and Pisgah National Forest. Stop at the Trust General Store and the tiny St. Jude's Chapel of Hope.

Hot Springs Mineral Soak

Soak in the natural hot mineral springs by the river, used by visitors for centuries seeking the legendary healing powers. Located about an hour's drive north of Asheville on the Appalachian Trail… read more

Soak in the natural hot mineral springs by the river, used by visitors for centuries seeking the legendary healing powers. Located about an hour's drive north of Asheville on the Appalachian Trail.

Blue Heron Whitewater, Hot Springs

Enjoy rafting trips (or inflatable kayaks) and calm water float trips on the French Broad River with a fantastic combination of whitewater rapids, swimming holes, beautiful scenery, history and… read more

Enjoy rafting trips (or inflatable kayaks) and calm water float trips on the French Broad River with a fantastic combination of whitewater rapids, swimming holes, beautiful scenery, history and wildlife near Asheville. Excellent, fun-loving guides and all the appropriate river equipment ensure a great time.

French Broad Ziplines

Explore the great outdoors from the treetops near Hot Springs, just 30 minutes from downtown Asheville. The 10-line, 2-rappel zip line canopy tour traverses a mile of cable, with stunning, long-… read more

Explore the great outdoors from the treetops near Hot Springs, just 30 minutes from downtown Asheville. The 10-line, 2-rappel zip line canopy tour traverses a mile of cable, with stunning, long-range mountain views. Create memories of a lifetime, led by expert guides with state-of-the-art gear.

French Broad Adventures

Asheville’s closest adventure experience offers whitewater rafting, ziplines, and canyoneering expeditions just 30 minutes from Downtown Asheville. Experience a fun-filled rafting adventure with… read more

Asheville’s closest adventure experience offers whitewater rafting, ziplines, and canyoneering expeditions just 30 minutes from Downtown Asheville. Experience a fun-filled rafting adventure with knowledgeable guides or choose a milder calmwater trip in the heart of the scenic valley near Hot Springs. Enjoy both indoor and outdoor experiences. Half and full-day trips. 

Lover's Leap

(3.2-mile loop, moderate) Hike from downtown Hot Springs via the Appalachian Trail.  You will climb to a rock outcropping for beautiful views of the river and town. It's a romantic spot, but don't… read more

(3.2-mile loop, moderate) Hike from downtown Hot Springs via the Appalachian Trail.  You will climb to a rock outcropping for beautiful views of the river and town. It's a romantic spot, but don't leap!

Barns of Madison County

Drive the country roads of Madison County to see many historic barns preserved by the Appalachian Barn Alliance - five scenic routes take you by farms and mountain views.

Drive the country roads of Madison County to see many historic barns preserved by the Appalachian Barn Alliance - five scenic routes take you by farms and mountain views.

Rich Mountain Lookout Fire Tower

Drive to or hike the Appalachian Trail to enjoy the panoramic mountain views from atop the historic lookout tower near Hot Springs.

Drive to or hike the Appalachian Trail to enjoy the panoramic mountain views from atop the historic lookout tower near Hot Springs.

Broadwing Farm Cabins, Hot Springs

3 lovely cabins, each with a private hot tub filled with fresh mineral water from a well on their 85-acre organic farm. You even have access to their organic vegetables and u-pick blueberries in… read more

3 lovely cabins, each with a private hot tub filled with fresh mineral water from a well on their 85-acre organic farm. You even have access to their organic vegetables and u-pick blueberries in season. 1 bedroom, 1 bath, futons for additional guests. Dog friendly, WiFi, full kitchen, ac, gas fireplace, gas grill, TV/ DVD, DirecTV in 2 cabins.

1 mile from Hot Springs, 45 minutes to…

Laurel River Trail

(7 miles roundtrip, easy) This scenic creekside trail follows Big Laurel Creek as it flows to the French Broad River in Pisgah National Forest near Hot Springs.

(7 miles roundtrip, easy) This scenic creekside trail follows Big Laurel Creek as it flows to the French Broad River in Pisgah National Forest near Hot Springs.

Hot Springs Festivals

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Bluff Mountain Festival

Jun 10, 2023

This free, family-friendly festival in Hot Springs (at the spa) features great old-time and bluegrass music, ballads, clogging, square dancing, as well as a silent auction and raffle of regional… read more

This free, family-friendly festival in Hot Springs (at the spa) features great old-time and bluegrass music, ballads, clogging, square dancing, as well as a silent auction and raffle of regional artwork, local crafts, vacation packages and more. 10 AM to 5 PM. Offers an array of delicious foods, too.

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