Appalachian National Scenic Trail

Appalachian Trail and Max Patch in Harmon Den NC

The Appalachian Trail extends between Springer Mountain Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. It is a 2,174-mile hike for those who dare to complete it. If you do, you will be known as a “2000 Miler”. If you complete the hike in a single season, you are a “thru-hiker”.  If you take the hike in stretches you are known as a “section-hiker”.

North Carolina has 88 miles of the Trail, plus around 200 miles that wind between the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee. Haywood County is home to part of the Trail, found in the Harmon Den wilderness area.

Those that want to see the trail, but not necessarily work for the title, can drive to Harmon Den and follow the signs to Max Patch. There is a short, but steep hike to the top.  It is definitely worth it. Max Patch has one of the most spectacular views of the mountains. If you are there when the hikers come through, be prepared to take photos for them. Most have cameras and are sure to want to be photographed against this scenic backdrop.

The trail through Harmon Den will take you along the ridge for a few easy and beautiful walks. Wild turkey and pheasant, as well as deer and an occasional black bear can often be spotted, making Harmon Den very popular during the hunting season!