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Reader Bonnie Schwartz, of Asheville, N.C., took this photo of Max Patch, in Pisgah National Forest, on Oct. 9. It showcases a dramatic spot in Western North Carolina in any season, but it was particularly showy this month as the leaves began changing throughout the mountains.
Located in Madison County and in Cocke County, Tennessee, Max Patch is a well-known bald near Hot Springs and notable Appalachian Trail landmark. With its summit located in North Carolina, this 4,600-foot mountain is said to have been cleared and used as pasture in the 1800s. Today, it’s an approximately 350-acre tract of open land on a high knob and is a great spot for picnics, star gazing and enjoying wildflowers. It is known for its 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains, including Mount Mitchell to the east and Great Smoky Mountains to the southwest, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
Max Patch is a great place to hike in any season but especially in the fall. It is always interesting to meet Appalachian Trail thru hikers and hear their experiences about life on the trail. Max Patch is one of the most beautiful, serene places I have been.
Photo was shot at 1/20 second at f/14, ISO -100 at 20mm, with a Nikon D90.