Appalachian Trail: Hot Springs to Tanyard Gap

#3 of 5 trails in Rich-Laurel Wildlife Area

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Appalachian Trail: Hot Springs to Tanyard Gap is a 5.3 mile point-to-point trail located near Hot Springs, North Carolina. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking.



0 Completed 1 Reviews

I recently completed a quick shake down hike in early August 2010 to test out a few things. In the last year I dropped 30 pounds from my body and at least 10 pounds from pack. Plus I got new boots I had to break in. So I thought I'd see how I handle some major uphills on a 5.9 trek from Hot Springs, NC to Tanyard Gap.

I finished up in 2.5 hours and that included a 10 minute stop at Mill Pond (I think it's called) to enjoy the site and catch a breather. The good news is that my new boots felt pretty good but still require more breaking in. The great news is that I practically flew uphill including through the 9 switchbacks at the beginning which are all up a steep incline.

I carried around 29 pounds including full shelter, sleep gear, clothes, first aid, cooking gear, 1 day of food, 3 liters of water, etc. 2 liters of my water were in a bladder system with a hose that hung over my shoulder. That was super convenient as I didn't have to stop frequently to quench my thirst. Once I figured out how to get it to work, it worked flawlessly. I plan on carrying that on future hikes. My bag wasn't designed to carry it but I made it work.

So, I've learned that I can handle a faster pace and don't have to stop at the top (or near the top) of all of the uphills I face (which was my normal method).

I recommend this hike for anyone who needs to break in some boots or test out a new pack.

I also recommend the $5 shuttle from Bluff Mountain Outfitters. I left my car in Hot Springs and called them for a ride when I was at Tanyard Gap. I didn't have to wait 5 minutes for them to show up. Of course, you may want to arrange the ride before hand. It's not required but it's very helpful and considerate.