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Hot Springs Tourism Association

Things to do in Hot Springs

There’s a lot to do in Hot Springs North Carolina!

From simply getting away and taking in nature or enjoying wonderful food, to the music and arts festivals, and great shopping complete with art from local artists.

Pisgah National Forest

Hot Springs is a small mountain town nestled in the French Broad River Valley and surrounded by 3500-foot tall mountains which are part of the Pisgah National Forest. The mountains literally surround the town and are virtually undeveloped. There are excellent hiking trails and challenging mountain biking trails. Our mountain setting also provides the basis [...]

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Appalachian Trail Hikers Resource Guide for Hot Springs

Places to Stay Food and Drink Hiking Supplies ATM/Post Office/Laundry Information Transportation Medical Care Relaxation Church Services Shopping/Gifts Places to Stay Camping If you are through hiking or section hiking without a car, the most convenient places to camp are in town. Hot Springs Campground Located along the French Broad River, directly across from the [...]

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Motorcycle Riding & Driving

Motorcycling in Western North Carolina You don't need to go with the crowds to the Blue Ridge Parkway or "Ride the Dragon" to experience some of the best roads in the entire country.  There are dozens of scenic backroads and highways that are perfect for motorcycling or driving in Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee. [...]

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Winter Activities

Winter weather doesn't really arrive in Hot Springs until January. The town might get some cold weather in December, but, generally, December weather is chilly (in the 50’s) but pleasant. Even in January the average daytime temperature is well into the 40’s and the night average is in the low 30’s to upper 20’s. Christmas [...]

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Summertime Fun

Hot Springs is a perfect oasis for relaxing and playing during the summer! Whether you are looking for a day or two retreat or a longer vacation, there are plenty of accommodations and activities nearby. We are centrally located in the mountains of Western North Carolina and you may easily explore regional attractions within just [...]

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Spring in the Mountains

You know Spring has arrived when the first group of northbound thru-hikers arrives on the Appalachian Trail from Springer Mountain, Georgia. They have been hiking for a few weeks and are ready to eat some good food, enjoy a cold beer and find provisions. And just as the hikers are excited to arrive in town, [...]

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The Appalachian Trail in Hot Springs

One of the World’s Longest Continuously Marked Footpaths The Appalachian Trail is one of the longest continuously marked footpaths in the world, measuring approximately 2,185 miles in length. The legendary footpath travels through wild places, rural communities of America, and on the edge of one of the most populated areas in America. Its close proximity to the [...]

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Fall Splendor

Brilliant fall colors in Hot Springs and Madison County develop during September, as the nighttime temperatures in the mountains dip into the cooler digits.  The vibrant display of color lasts for over a month into early November. The higher elevations become colorful earlier in the season. It is fascinating to watch the changes travel from the [...]

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Seasons in Hot Springs

Temperate Climate The Hot Springs, NC climate is very moderate, making for pleasant year-round living and comfort. The town is nestled in a mountain valley created by the French Broad River.  Surrounding town are the peaks and ridges of the Pisgah National Forest, with elevations ranging from 1,300 feet in town to over 4,600 feet [...]

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Paint Rock Pictographs

Paint Rock Historical Marker A significant rock outcropping, known as Paint Rock, can be found in Madison County very near the Tennessee border. John Strother wrote about Paint Rock in his 1799 diary kept during his survey of the North Carolina-Tennessee boundary line: “Friday 28th. Set out very early and proceeded on the line about [...]

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Massage and Spa Treatments

Treat yourself! Unwind from the daily grind and reinvigorate your body and mind with a massage or spa treatment. Follow up your hot springs soak at the Hot Springs Resort & Spa by selecting from their diverse list of deluxe spa treatments, including everything from botanical mud wraps to sugar scrubs, facials, and multiple styles [...]

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Hot Mineral Springs

Soak and relax in earth’s healing mineral waters For centuries the naturally warmed mineral waters of Hot Springs, NC have been cherished and enjoyed. Come experience the healing powers for yourself! From deep in the earth When you touch the warm mineral water flowing freely from the earth in Hot Springs, North Carolina, you are [...]

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The French Broad River

The River Runs North The headwaters of the French Broad River begin just west of the Eastern Continental Divide near Rosman, NC, about 60 miles south of Asheville near the South Carolina state line. One of several unique features of the river is that it flows north. The French Broad travels for about 100 miles [...]

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Max Patch

4,600+ Bald Mountain The Appalachian Trail on Max Patch Max Patch is a 4,629-foot tall bald mountain with an incredible 360-degree mountain vista just 20 miles from Hot Springs. The Appalachian Trail crosses right over the summit running north and south. On a clear day, you can see from Mt. Mitchell on the east to [...]

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Hiking Trails

Appalachian Trail Town When people think of hiking in Hot Springs, NC, their first thought is of the Appalachian Trail. Hot Springs is the only North Carolina town where the Appalachian Trail passes directly through the main street.  Visitors from all over come here to hike this section of the Appalachian Trail. And while its [...]

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Hot Springs – N.C. Mountain Heritage Trout Water Town Spring Creek Hot Springs is a high mountain valley at the intersection of Spring Creek and the French Broad River. Spring Creek, which runs straight through Hot Springs, is a designated N.C. Mountain Heritage Trout Water, which makes Hot Springs a designated N.C. Mountain Heritage Trout Water Town. [...]

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Rafting, Canoeing and Kayaking

Float down the French Broad The French Broad River flows for just over 100 miles in the state of North Carolina. The French Broad is free flowing which means that the water level is determined by the amount of rainfall in the watershed. For all sections, particularly the whitewater section, the character of the river [...]

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Hot Springs Mineral Water

Natural Hot Mineral Waters

There are relatively few sources of geothermally heated mineral water in the Eastern United States. Hot Springs, North Carolina, is fortunate to be one with hot mineral water that is the perfect temperature for a comfortable soak. The water coming from a hot spring is heated by geothermal heat. In general, the temperature of rocks within the earth increases with depth. If water percolates deeply enough into the crust, it will be heated as it comes into contact with hot rocks.  Because heated water can hold more dissolved solids, warm, and especially hot springs often have a very high mineral content, containing everything from simple calcium to lithium, and even radium.

Hot Springs, a Healing Center

Hot Springs, North Carolina, has a rich history as a center for healing and retreat. Traders from the colonies were the first to visit the springs and, by 1778, the lame and the sick were traveling over the mountains for the healing waters. On March 19, 1791, William Nelson bought the hot springs property for “two hundred pounds in Virginia currency” and began catering to the visitors. In the 1800’s, a series of three hotels were built to accommodate visitors who came for the clean mountain air and to soak in the springs.

Native Americans First Soaked in the Springs

In fact, the healing history goes back even farther than that: The town’s hot springs were first discovered by Native Americans who believed the springs possessed healing powers. Signs of Native American presence here date back nearly 5,000 years to 2,500 B.C. on petroglyphs that can be seen on Paint Rock, a 107-foot rock cliff which researchers believe Native Americans used as a stopping point for prayer and contemplation on their way to the springs.

Shopping and Arts

What you don’t bring with you to Hot Springs can usually be bought locally. You won’t find any malls or outlet stores, but rather a unique array of locally-owned businesses with offerings for residents and visitors alike.


Visiting the outfitters is a fun experience for people of all ages and interests. You’ll find displays of great equipment, unique gifts and clothing, and you’ll no doubt run into some hikers in the process.

Area Arts, Crafts and Gifts

There are a number of shops where you can find local crafts or gifts for friends. We also have an ice cream shop, a coffee and latte bar, a wine shop and an antique and consignment shop.

Old Time Hardware Stores

We also have something that is close to extinct: a couple of family-owned hardware stores that also stock some gift and clothing items. You may stop by and browse to get a true flavor for the community as people come and go. The shopkeeper will spend whatever time it takes to find what you need, even if it costs only 50 cents.

Convenience & Grocery Stores

Hot Springs has one gas station stocked with sundries. Our local market has a surprising selection of groceries, including locally-grown produce and fresh fruit.

Food, Music and Leisure

When visiting Hot Springs, NC, you are in for a pleasant surprise!  You will find a variety of unique restaurants serving fresh and creative cuisine. Some even have occasional live music which can be found on our events calendar.

Annual Festivals & Gatherings

Hot Springs, North Carolina is host to a rich array of arts and culture events. Being tucked up in the amazing Appalachian Mountains has only spiced the cultural spectrum, both traditional and new. Everything from River Festivals to traditional arts festivals, social justice events to motorcycle rallies; many of which support local artists, community and nature while drawing speakers, thinkers, artists, musicians, competitors and more from the nation and world-over.

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