Start out at Interstate 40 and NC 209, west of Asheville. Head north on NC 209. Drive 33 miles to Hot Springs, where the road changes to U.S. 25/70. Follow it 7 miles, then turn right onto Stackhouse Road. Drive to the end of the road and backtrack to U.S. 25/70. Continue north for 3 miles, turn right onto Walnut Drive, then take another immediate right onto Barnard Road. Go 2 miles, then turn left onto Anderson Branch Road. Follow it 4 miles, then turn left onto an unsigned road. Go 2 miles and turn left onto Little Pine Road. Drive 1 mile and turn right onto County Road 1114. After a half mile, turn left onto Turnpike Road. Drive 2 miles to the end of the road and turn left onto an unnamed road. Follow it 2 miles to Marshall. (61 miles)
The Appalachian Trail traverses Max Patch Mountain, providing access to spectacular views from the treeless summit.
Max Patch Mountain experiences frigid conditions during the winter months. Here, rime ice coats a marker post for the Appalachian Trail.
In the latter half of the nineteenth century, Hot Springs, originally called Warm Springs, was a resort town that claimed to have no superior in any state. The Mountain Park Hotel opened in 1886, featuring elevators, steam heat, and electric lights. The resort also laid claim to the state’s first organized golf course. But the big attraction was the hot springs, drawing visitors from all over to partake of the healing waters in one of the hotel’s sixteen marble pools. The hotel burned in 1920.
The historic Madison County Courthouse is the principal building in the small town of Marshall.