This little village is a way station for hikers on the Appalachian Trail. Since the early 1800s, Hot Springs, not far from the Tennessee border in Madison County, has attracted visitors seeking relief from real or imagined ailments in its 104°F mineral water. In the mid-1800s, the town boasted a 350-room hotel, one of the largest in the South, with a dining room seating 600. By the early 20th century, however, fewer people
"took the waters," and the town's only remaining hotel burned to the ground. Since around the 1980s, thanks to its location beside the French Broad River, Hot Springs has attracted rafters and other visitors seeking a quiet, unpretentious vacation.