Nero in Hot Springs, North Carolina
The AT goes straight through the cute little town of Hot Springs, NC. Seeing these sweet little American towns is one of the many great things about the trail. I took a nero there and had a blast. A nero is when a hiker stops and spends the night somewhere to resupply/shower and hikes out the next day, so miles are done both the day before staying in town and the day after. A zero is two nights in town, so there is a day of complete rest. It’s never really a day of complete rest though as I have to walk to get to the places in town, do laundry, etc…
True to its name there are hot springs in Hot Springs and of course I visited them. The trail passes right next to a hostel called Laughing Heart as you come into town, which is where I stayed for the evening. There are bunk rooms, but the weather was nice and the grounds there are nice and flat so I paid a small fee to tent on the property, which included access to the shower and kitchen.
There were lots of other hikers at the hostel and we put together a small group and reserved a late afternoon spot at the hot springs. The naturally warm water is piped into outdoor hot tubs which are next to a creek that provides nice background noise as you soak in the tubs.
If you are ever in the area, I would definitely recommend visiting this cute little town. The views on trail through North Carolina are super pretty too. The Rich Mountain lookout tower is less than five miles on trail out of Hot Springs with stellar views. I included a picture of Ninja checking out the view down below.
I’m still moving North!
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