We got up early and practically ran the 18 miles to Hot Springs, making it in town by 1 p.m. Just after getting in town, it started to pour and we were forced to search for lodging by walking building to building. With large groups of hikers coming through town this weekend, we had a hard time finding any place with vacancy. We ended up booking the last room at the Hot Springs Resort and Spa. Hot Springs is the first real trail town we’ve come across as the trail crosses straight through the center of town. The town has recently included the AT symbol in the sidewalks to guide hikers. The town is named for the therapeutic mineral pools found here in 1800. We enjoyed getting our mail drop of goodies and a good meal at the tavern on the French Broad River.