Riverside Camping In Hot Springs, NC
Finding a camping spot for the family can be challenging especially when you have multiple ages. My BK’s are out fo town for another two weeks so this was the perfect time to test out this trip and make sure it is up to their fun standards. Hot Springs, NC. is just 4o minutes away from Asheville and we enjoyed everything including hiking, small jaunts into town, riverside hammocking, and more. A little mountain rain didn’t stop us either!
Pitch a tent or cozy up in a cabin
Hot Springs Resort & Spa has a huge campground including RV, tent, or cabin camping with a variety of accommodation options for each. The first night we got in, it poured rain so we opted to upgrade to a cabin for the night. I’m so glad we did as the cabin experience was just enough to take the edge off worrying about the weather. Our small, modest cabin had a half bath, a loft section (queen), an extra queen mattress, and twin mattress. A table and shelving lined the other side of the cabin which rounded out our little home for the night. The next day it was dry and we were able to get set up right away at our riverside site behind a covered picnic pavilion for total privacy. Once we got set up, it began to rain again and the covered pavilion was a great respite for dinner and s’mores.
Lover’s Leap hike
After a night’s thunderstorm kept up pretty early we decided to hike off our tiredness with a pretty ambitious hike. When we did our research we knew the hike is considered “moderate” but decided because of the low elevation gain (500 ft), it would be doable for Poppy (with some chocolate incentives along the way). The trailhead was not like most–after crossing the bridge next to the campground, we kept our eyes peeled for the white blazes (A.T.). We headed down after the bridge and saw trailhead for the A.T. Some people go the opposite direction along some old shacks and trailers. But we thought it best to go uphill on the rocky side first then finish off the hike on the less aggressive downhill. The first rock outcropping gave us a view worth the switchbacks we had conquered the first mile or so. After the second outcropping (Lover’s Leap) we were in complete awe. Heading back down was fun as the rhododendrons were in bloom and pink and white petals sunk into the soft trail. The whole hike was about 2 miles. At the end of the loop, a cold stream dip was a great way to end this humid and challenging hike.
Soak in the mountains
Since we stayed at the Hot Springs campground we found it only right to also experience the hot mineral soaks across the street. We called a few hours before our reserved time in the middle of the week and got an afternoon spot. An hour-long soak for 3 people was $42. We got a creekside tub along the river away from other tubs on the property. The water was the perfect temp and there’s even a mister above so we didn’t at all feel overwhelmed with heat. Ending our hike with a soak was pleasant and we were feeling relaxed and refreshed on our way back to the campsite.
Hot Springs is known as the only town in North Carolina where the Appalachian Trail runs all the way through it. It’s a small mountain town and because our campsite and the general area doesn’t have wi-fi, we found it particularly helpful that we could go into Artisun Gallery and Cafe for some coffee during the intermittent rain. The ice cream is great too if you have a hankering for something sweet. Just around the corner, we stopped at Spring Creek Tavern for some wood-fired pizza and beer after our Lover’s Leap hike. You can go down by the river and take in the sights as you wait for food. Bluff Mountain Outfitters has everything a thru-hiker would need or last-minute provisions for campers. Older kids would love being able to walk just a short distance to town for some alone time to explore.
There are a few things we’d like to highlight during this trip that we thought would be helpful for families:
- Bring extra tarps. The Summer rains here can pop in any time–we brought along two extra tarps to hang over our tent as well as for under. You can also use to hang over your hammock set up or food station if not near the pavilion or covered area.
- Bring bikes if you wanna. The whole campground surrounded with dirt roads and riding bikes would be perfect for filling some gaps of time when your kids want something else to do.
- Reserve your hot tubs in advance and BYO towels. They don’t offer towels unless you rent them for a couple extra bucks.
- There are shower stalls and running hot water but we never used them during our stay. The toilets are also well-maintained and clean.
- The railroad runs opposite side of the river so you may get train noise from time to time.
Have you been to Hot Springs? What other things do you like to do while you’re here? We will be back soon with the whole Harper bunch–Happy Camping!