GetHiking! Fall Weekend Escape: the Appalachian Trail at Hot Springs


Enjoy late fall color minus the crowded trails on this November weekend on the trail. Saturday, we’ll hike 7.4 miles on the Appalachian Trail, from Garenflo Gap into downtown Hot Springs, Sunday, we’ll hike 5.5 miles, from Tanyard Gap down to Hot Springs. Saturday shuttle and meals provided.

You will be sent a full schedule for the weekend upon registration.

Nov. 1-3, 2024

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Late Fall is a magical time in the mountains: autumnal color lingers, the hordes who come to see it do not. There’s a special quiet you won’t find at any other time of year. And one of the best places for a hiker to enjoy this quiet — and catch some great late fall color — is on the Appalachian Trail at Hot Springs, N.C.

On the first weekend in November we will gather in Hot Springs for two days of hiking and enjoying the ambience of downtown Hot Springs (through which the Appalachian Trail passes). Our agenda for the weekend:

Friday: Arrive after 4 p.m. From 4 p.m. until 8 p.m.  we will have a campfire welcome with cheese, crackers, little round meats and beer.

Saturday: Pancake breakfast at 7:30 a.m. We will catch the shuttle to Garenflo Gap on the AT at 9:30 a.m., arriving by 10 p.m. for our 7.2-mile hike on the AT and on a U.S. Forest Service Trail that will bring us back into town that afternoon. We will provide lunch; dinner is in town, on your own.

Sunday: Continental breakfast at 7:30 a.m. At 9, we will drive a short distance to Tanyard Gap for the 5-mile hike on the AT back into town.

This trip includes

  • 2 breakfasts (Saturday and Sunday mornings)
  • 2 lunches (build-your-own lunch buffet)
  • Trail snacks
  • 2 hikes
  • Saturday shuttle to Tanyard Gap
  • eguide for both hikes and for the weekend in general (including information on restaurants in Hot Springs)

The hikes

Saturday: Garenflo Gap into Hot Springs on the AT is 7.4 miles. There’s some climbing in the first 3 miles, the last 4 are downhill. The trail is in good shape and easy to follow. We will stop for lunch at the Deer Park Mountain Shelter, where there is water to filter; I will bring a filter.

Sunday: This 5.5-mile hike starts high at Tanyard Gap, ends low back in Hot Springs, and offers a long downhill passage through a hardwood forest that should have good color. Moderate difficulty.


Lodging is not provided on this trip. Our base camp will be at the Hot Springs Resort and Spa, which offers a range of accommodations, including camping, small cabins, bigger cabins, two houses and rooms in the lodge. Campsites start at $45 a night, cabins start at $75 a night, rooms in the lodge start at $165 a night. Meals will be served at a campsite to be identified upon registration. The resort is just across the railroad tracks from downtown Hot Springs, a 5-minute walk, tops.

You can make reservations  by either visiting the website or calling 828-622-7676.

Fee for the trip, excluding lodging: $295

Refund policy: Full refund for cancelations made 7 to 14 days in advance of the trip’s start; credit give for cancelations made 1 to 6 days before the trip; no refund for cancelations made less than 24 hours in advance.

Questions? Contact Joe at


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