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Directions

From I-40, Exit 7 in North Carolina: Get off at Exit 7, Harmon Den. At the bottom of the exit, turn left (from the west) or right (from the east), up the mountain, onto Forest Service Road 148, Cold Springs Creek Road. (If you find yourself downhill at the Pigeon River crossing, you are going the wrong way; turn around!) The road has a gravel surface after about 100 yards. Follow the creek up FS 148 for app. 3 miles, where you will pass FS 148A, the Harmon Den parking area, and a stone toilet facility, all on the left. At app. 3.5 miles, the road makes a "Y"—take the left-hand fork (it’s still FS 148). For the next 3 miles, the road winds upward to Robert Gap, where it dead-ends into Max Patch Road (NC 1182), also gravel. There is a brown sign straight ahead of you at this "T" which says "Max Patch 1.75" and "Fines Creek Road". Turn left and proceed to Max Patch. About 0.3 mile past the parking area, you will pass a large fishing pond with docks on your right and, just past it, the entrance to Sterchi Lodge on your left. About one mile past the large pond, you will pass two smaller ponds. Just past the little ponds, you will see a mailbox ("7620") and a sign on the right.

From I-40, Exit 24 in North Carolina: Get off at Exit 24, Lake Junaluska/Hot Springs. At the top of the exit, turn right (from the east) or left (from the west) onto NC 209, Iron Duff/Crabtree Road, toward Hot Springs, passing the Pilot truck stop on your right. Continue on NC 209 through Iron Duff/Crabtree to Ferguson’s Supply and BP station, app. 8 miles on the newly paved highway. At Ferguson’s, NC 209 turns right toward Hot Springs and Max Patch Road (paved) begins, straight ahead. Take Max Patch Road, with Ferguson’s on your right. After one mile, you will cross a small bridge at Fine’s Creek, and Max Patch Road makes a 90-degree turn to the right; take this right turn and follow Max Patch Road for app. 5 miles, where it bears slightly to the left and turns to gravel at Belmont Church. Take the winding gravel road upward about 8 miles to Max Patch. (When you get to the Max Patch parking area, you may want to get out and look around, you’re only a little over a mile from the Retreat now.) About 0.3 mile past the parking area on NC 1182, you will pass a large fishing pond with docks on your right and, just past it, the entrance to Sterchi Lodge on your left. About one mile past the large pond, you will pass two smaller ponds. Just past the ponds, you will see a mailbox ("7620") and a sign on the right.

Total distance from Exit 24 on I-40, app. 24 miles; driving time, app. 1 hour; elevation gain app. 2,500 feet.

From US 25-70, Del Rio, Tenn: Take US 25-70 to Del Rio. At Del Rio, a brown sign just before the bridge says "Round Mountain Camp Ground 15" and "Lemon Gap 17". Turn right (from the west) or left (from the east) across the bridge at the US Post Office onto TN 107. Follow TN 107 for about 9 miles, until the pavement ends in a "T." There is another brown sign: "Round Mountain Camp Ground 6mi" and "Lemon Gap 8mi". Turn left on Round Mountain Road (gravel, unmarked, still TN 107 on the map). Continue on this winding gravel road past Round Mountain Camp Ground and Rattlesnake Gap, both on the left, and through Lemon Gap, where you cross the state line into North Carolina. On your left at Lemon Gap, the Appalachian Trail (white blazes) crosses here, too. Continue up Max Patch Road app. 2.5 miles, to a house just below the road with a sign and a mailbox ("7620") and our driveway on the right.

Total distance from US 25-70 at Del Rio, app. 20 miles; driving time, app. 45 minutes; elevation gain app. 3,000 feet.

From US 25-70, Hot Springs N.C: Take US 25-70 to Hot Springs. Where NC 209 joins US 25-70, go straight ahead (from the east) or turn right (from the west) on NC 209 toward Lake Junaluska. Go up paved, scenic, winding NC 209, Spring Creek Road, for about 8 miles, past Bluff, N.C., to the next paved road on the right, Meadow Fork Road (unmarked). On the left across from Meadow Fork Road is a brown sign: "Max Patch 10 " and "National Forest ." At the intersection is a small, abandoned stone store building on the right. Turn right onto Meadow Fork Road and proceed for app. 5 miles to Little Creek Road on the right. On the left across from Little Creek Road is a brown sign: "Max Patch 5 " and "National Forest ". Turn right onto Little Creek Road; at about 300 yards, Long Branch Road (paved) goes off to the right. There is a brown sign at this intersection: "Max Patch." Bear left up Little Creek Road (gravel). After 3 winding miles, Little Creek Road ends at a stop sign on Max Patch Road (gravel). Turn right and proceed app. 1.5 miles to Max Patch Mountain. (When you get to the Max Patch parking area, you may want to get out and look around, you’re only a little over a mile from The Retreat now.) About 0.3 mile past the parking area on NC 1182, you will pass a large fishing pond with docks on your right and, just past it, the entrance to Sterchi Lodge on your left. About one mile past the large pond, you will pass two smaller ponds. Just past the ponds, you will see a mailbox ("7620") and a sign on the right.

Total distance from Hot Springs, app. 20 miles; driving time, app. 45 minutes; elevation gain app. 2,500 feet.

 






Hot Springs North Carolina