Myron C.The Dyrt PRO User
Reviewed May. 1, 2021

Beautiful Dispersed Camping but Sometimes Way Overcrowded

I have been to Max Patch many times before, and my understanding was that you cannot camp on Max Patch. I was wrong. You CAN camp on Max Patch and many people do, so I decided to take advantage of it. Sometimes too many people camp there, and unfortunately, they leave their trash. Trash on Max Patch has become a huge problem. Why anybody can’t respect the beauty of Max Patch is beyond my comprehension. For those of you who have never been there, the views are spectacular. It is a large mountain bald, and you can see for miles in every direction. A lot of day hikers go to Max Patch, and since the Appalachian Trail crosses Max Patch, so do a lot of thru-hikers. The bald is so large that you can set up your tent and not feel as if you are on top of other campers. With that said, there is very little privacy since there are no trees on the top of Max Patch. 

Facilities? What facilities? There are no facilities, so you will have to pack everything out. If you want to take care of personal business, you will need to walk to the tree line. Unfortunately, every time I have been there, there have been poop bags on the bald. I am hoping those are doggy doo bags. Even so,“pack it in, pack it out.” 

It was very windy when we arrived, so I decided to set my tent up lower down the slope, especially since the wind made it seem colder than it was. 

During the time I was there, there were some beautiful flowers along the side of the trail. Later in the year, from past experience, there will be blackberries growing along the trail. 

To get to Max Patch, you can take the half-mile trail to the left, or you can take the longer 1.7 mile trail to the right. The shorter trail is easy to moderate. The longer trail begins easy but becomes moderately strenuous toward the end. 

There is not much more to say about Max Patch except that it is a beautiful place to camp, but be aware of these things: 

  1. During lightning storms, you will want to run down to the tree line. 

  2. Expect to see lots of trash. 

  3. You will not be alone on top.

I LOVE Max Patch, but the biggest problem is OVERCROWDING.  I was fortunate enough to be there when it wasn't as crowded, but during peak season, it will be.  The only reason I gave it three stars is because of the amenities, which is not a problem for me.  However, many people will find that an annoyance.  Otherwise, I would give it at least four stars.

  • One of the MANY views from Max Patch
  • The Appalachian Trail passes over Max Patch.
  • Later in the year, there will be lots of blackberries.  This was taken on a previous visit.
  • Dispersed camping is allowed on top of or around Max Patch.
  • This tent was 200 feet away from the AT, as it should be.
  • I set up my tent farther down from the summit because of the wind.
  • Another Magnificent View from Max Patch
  • You can set up your tent on the summit, but you have to be 200 feet away from the AT.
  • The flowers along the trail to Max Patch are more beautiful than this photo shows.
  • Max Patch from the trailhead.
  • The shorter trail is wide.
  • Looking at My Tent from near the Summit
  • I wasn't surprised to find a lot of trash in the fire pit.
  • As I always say, "Leave a campsite better than what you found it."  This was only a scratch on the surface as far as picking up trash.

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