Camping at Max Patch, North Carolina | All You Need to Know
Max Patch is still one of the most magical places I've visited. Even after traveling to the Maldives, hiking through the Agafay Desert in Morocco, and summiting Schrecksee in the German Alps — Max Patch still stands out amidst those magical spots.
Maybe it's because it's the spot Michael and I spent our first anniversary of a marriage, the time we met new friends and shared a meal under the stars, or all the memories we have with old friends waking up to the sunrise with hot coffee and our wild pups. Whatever it is about Max Patch, it keeps me coming back.
Even though I am not the most outdoorsy person in the world, I always enjoy a night under the stars at Max Patch.
So, if you're thinking about visiting Max Patch, even if it's a 6-hour drive away from you, do it! You won't regret it, I promise. But here are a few tips to make the most of your trip:
1) Camp Out on the Bald
This one might seem obvious, but every time I've spent the night on the top of Max Patch, 50% of the people are gone right after sunset. They bring up all their things (cooler, chairs, food, drinks, etc.), and after a few hours, they hike right back down. I mean, do you. But for me, it's a long drive, hike up the mountain (okay, it's a short hike), and I can't imagine leaving right after sunset.
It's the most comfortable camping site, there are hardly any bugs, and the temperature is always 10-15 degrees cooler up on the bald -- which makes for excellent camping conditions! You won't regret it.
2.) Have a Cheeseboard and some delicious Wine
If you do not eat cheese or drink wine, then ignore this tip. But if you're a fan of delicious cheese with a glass of rich red wine, then definitely listen to this tip.
There's something about having your favorite glass of wine and seeing the sunset over the foothills at Max Patch. It's a million-dollar view! Plus, how many balds are such an easy walk up that you're practically car camping and can bring up fancy things like a bottle of wine and delicious cheese?
3.) Bring Layers and Warm Clothes
It's always surprisingly chilly at the top of Max Patch and extremely windy. The first time we ever camped out, I wore shorts and a denim jacket and froze the entire night.
Even if it's 99 degrees in Knoxville or Asheville, bring a puffer or layers with you! The wind is chilly, and once the sun sets, you'll be thankful you brought some extra clothes.
4.) Bring your Pup, a Soccer Ball or Frisbee
The bald is huge! Though people are camping, and sometimes we come across dogs that aren't too friendly, we always bring Frank. There's something magical about dogs roaming freely and chasing frisbees, while everyone enjoys the views together.
Granted, someone might be pissed I'm recommending to let your dog off-leash and run around the bald, but I mean it's the wild. I feel like the more popular Max Path has gotten it's harder to do this, but on less crowded days we just let Frank do his thing and make new friends.
But above all else, have fun. Max Patch is a place you go to get away, enjoy the stars with your friends, make new friends, and be a kid again.
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