Roundtop Ridge Trail

At A Glance

More Difficult

3.1 mi one-way

Difficulty Rating: 6.53
Steepness: Climbs Moderately
Tread Condition: Some Obstacles
Lowest Elevation: 1530 ft
Highest Elevation: 3240 ft
Climb Total: 1770 ft
Blaze Color: Yellow
Trail Number: 295


This trail offers a walk through oak-hickory hardwood forests. The trail provides access from Hot Springs to the Rich Mountain Fire Tower. There is loop opportunity with the Appalachian Trail.

Note: a wildfire affected parts of this trail in 2016, leading to some parts becoming overgrown in subsequent years.

Intersecting Trails

  • Appalachian Trail - Hot Springs (US-25/70) to NC 208
  • This trail is located in the Hot Springs area. For a list of all the trails in that area, see the Hot Springs trails list page.

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    Average Rating: 2.1 (rated 74 times)

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    Chris Haines said: When I hiked the at in 74 Round Top the route of the trail.

    Thursday, July 28 2022 6:01pm

    Jessica Prater said: Took this trail down from Rich Mountain Fire Tower into Hot Springs. It made for a great weekend loop. We started in HS and took the AT up to the tower (8 miles) and camped in the tower. For a shorter hike back into town this morning (10/18/20) we took this down and it has definitely been well cleared! Keep hiking it to keep it that way. It’s very obvious someone DID WORK! Thank you!

    Sunday, October 18 2020 8:34pm

    James Jones said: As of 10/6/2020 this trail has been well cleared!!! All this trail needs now if more feet on it to keep it that way!!! Offers a great loop with the AT out of Hot Springs, but I would recommend using this trail on the way back to Hot Springs as there is little tree cover and it would be all downhill this way. Happy hiking!

    Thursday, October 8 2020 11:48pm

    Jonah Kocisko said: Yeah, as Tim and Bobby have said this trail is a nightmare. I sincerely regret not looking up this trail before using it as a route from Rich Mt. to Hot Springs on 8/2/2020. Unfortunately, as indicated previously, because this trail starts off fine it inadvertently lured us into miles of very painful briars. I'm not sure if Bobby has gotten in contact with anyone about marking this trail, but I'll see if I can do so.

    Wednesday, August 5 2020 10:40pm

    Bobby Scott said: As Tim said on 3/8, this trail is over grown, not maintained and almost impassable. My girlfriend and I hiked down from the AT into Hot Springs via this trail on 3/9/19 and had 2 miles of miserable briars, climbing over trees, and very strong winds (there was a wind advisory that day, but also there's almost no cover). I'm working on trying to contact someone to let them know that this trail needs to be marked "closed" or something before someone gets hurt.

    Monday, March 11 2019 12:33pm

    Tim Hale said: I hiked this trail on 3/7/19. I hiked from the AT down to Hot Springs and then back. Unfortunately, much of the trail passes through forest that was impacted by the Silver Fire a few years ago. The fire killed many of the trees and many have fallen across the trail. The loss of the tree cover has also allowed briars to flourish along the trail. The combination of climbing over deadfall and briars scratching exposed skin took much of the joy out of the hike. It appears that someone started clearing from the Hot Springs end, but more trees have fallen since the clearing was done. The trail follows a great route and allows day hike access to the Rich Mountain fire tower from Hot Springs. Hopefully, it will be cleared some day, but for the time being, I would not recommend.

    Friday, March 8 2019 3:45am
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