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...

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....

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...

The Appalachian Trail

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...

Cycling & Off-Road Biking

Cycling in Hot Springs, NC A choice destination for road cyclists and off-road biking alike! Hot Springs, NC is a haven for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts - and it's not just the French Broad River's rapids and fish that draw them! The Madison County area and...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Paint Rock Pictographs

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...

Massage & Wellness

During your visit to Hot Springs, take time to slow down and unwind and get a massage! Whether you are achy from hiking the AT, are experiencing tension from stress, or are seeking a memorable experience with someone special, Hot Springs is a haven for healing....

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 AT passes directly through the heart of downtown.  Visitors from all over the world travel...

Motorcycle Riding & Driving

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...


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...

Rafting, Canoeing and Kayaking

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...

Things to Do in Hot Springs, NC


Whether you are searching for an outdoor adventure, a relaxing soak in our natural mineral Hot Springs, or an evening out with friends and family, you will find yourself refreshed and invigorated by the beauty and charm of Hot Springs, North Carolina.

The Appalachian Mountains boast an abundance of outdoor activities, and Hot Springs serves as a perfect home base for everything from whitewater rafting and hiking to horseback riding and biking. Be sure to take a few steps (or more!) on the legendary Appalachian Trail, which crosses through Hot Springs and draws thousands of adventure seekers from around the world every year

Looking to relax? Treat yourself to a soothing soak in the natural mineral waters for which Hot Springs is famous. For a little extra bliss, pamper yourself with a spa treatment or massage as well!

Enjoy a night out at one of Hot Spring’s local restaurants. You’ll find live music, craft brews, and delicious food to nourish your day’s expeditions.

Discover things to do in Hot Springs, NC

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.

Local 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 family-owned hardware store that also stocks gift and kitchen 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.



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

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, baked goods, fresh meats and cheeses.

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. Events range from river festivals to traditional arts festivals to social justice events; many of which support local artists, community and nature while drawing speakers, thinkers, artists, musicians, competitors and more from the nation and world-over.

Find Activities in Hot Springs