Andrew's Bald Trail

MODERATE 24 reviews

Andrew's Bald Trail is a 3.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Cherokee, NC that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round.

3.6 miles 906 feet Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

no dogs

This hike covers 1.8 miles of the 5.6-mile Forney Ridge Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The hike is from the Clingman's Dome parking lot to Andrew's Bald, which has views of the Great Smoky Mountains. The Forney Ridge Trailhead is at the end of the parking lot at the end of Clingman's Dome Road. The first mile or so of the trail proceeds downhill through woods. Portions of the trail here are very rocky, which can make for difficult hiking. The trail then heads uphill through woods to Andrew's Bald, which is 1.8 miles from the trailhead. Andrew's Bald is one of several "balds" in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which are so named because they are mountaintops that are not covered by trees, but are instead covered by grass, rhododendron, and mountain laurel. From Andrew's bald, there are panoramic views of the southern half of the park, including Fontana Lake. Wildlife sightings, including black bears, are also possible. Hikers can return to Clingman's Dome to complete the 3.6-mile hike or continue down the Forney Ridge Trail. The Forney Ridge trail continues nearly four more miles down the ridge, however, making for a very steep return trip.

23 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Total Silence. Make SURE you get to the parking lot EARLY as possible. My GPS said I would get there at one time and I ended up hitting bumper to bumper -- two hours late.

The trail is to the left of the main walk way, to the store and observation deck -- leaving the parking lot.

Long enough to make it a hike, short enough to make it in no time.

For you fellow Eno Nation lovers out there, the end has (from what I found) no real good two trees to hang your Eno -- however there are plenty of spots along the way, in the woods.

Enjoy!

hiking
2 months ago

Enjoyable hike. Nice scenic trail. It is pretty rocky and there is a lot of steps. The Bald at the end of the trail is a nice place to rest, read a book or take a break to eat. The hike back is more challenging due to having to go back uphill. Totally worth it.

3 months ago

great scenery along the trail. never have seen so many bumblebees in my life

3 months ago

Great hike. Very lush. The bald features grassy meadow, bushes, wild flowers filled with buzzing bees, and a great view of the mountains. It's fun to take some time to explore the bald itself before turning back or continuing on the trail

3 months ago

Relatively easy day hike with great views. Short in distance and the last part is a nice little climb that may challenge some.

hiking
4 months ago

It was a fun hike!

4 months ago

Nice trail, some spots are through dense woods some open I gs give limited mountian views. the bald had limites view spots but the opening it did have provided for smokey mountian beauty.... nice hike moderate challenge, maintained trail with log walk in muddy areas so I'd do it in most any weather.

4 months ago

One hour and fourty-five minutes out, and one hour and thirty minutes back. Going out was mostly downhill which means the trip back was a lot harder. Definitely easier than Chimney Tops.

hiking
5 months ago

Moderate hike even with trail improvements. Trail starts around elevation 6,300 feet which is the highest point in the Smoky Mountain National Park. Be careful pushing yourself if you are new to hiking especially at this altitude and watch for storms that can move in quickly. Total distance out and back to Clingmans Dome is around 3.5 miles. We hiked the trail on June 21st. The rhododendron and flame azaleas were in bloom when we hiked and definitely worth the trip.

hiking
5 months ago

Nice, easy trail. Most of the uphill will be on the way back, so plan accordingly. Bald itself is quite nice, with breathtaking views of the mountains and (I think) Fontana Lake

hiking
5 months ago

Good hike. More than easy but not exactly what I'd call moderate. There are some rocky parts but nothing too crazy. View is nice but not the best I've seen. Still overall a good hike to stretch and get the blood pumping.

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

This is by far one of my favorite hikes I've ever made. Fun trail. Well maintained. Just breath taking view out on the bald. Blue ridges after ridge after ridge and on and on.

Just be sure to check the weather report for a clear viewing day.

5 months ago

6 months ago

I hike frequently and not what I would consider an 'easy' hike, more in between easy and moderate. Trail improvements make it easier but still rocky and requires sturdy hiking shoes. Saw several people hiking in sandals and one even barefoot. Disappointed in the view, but still a great walk through a fir forest.

hiking
6 months ago

Comparatively speaking, this hike is relatively "easy". Some ups and downs, that give your legs a good workout, but nothing super strenuous. The views from the bald are gorgeous...I am planning on going back on a day when there is less "smoke" in the air. The clouds were VERY thick, today. I did this hike after hitting Clingmans Dome. The Trail head is just to the left of all the big rocks, before you reach the visitors center. The trail is quite dense with trees, so not much in the way of scenic views while in route to the bald.
Took me about 2 hours to complete, there and back.

hiking
6 months ago

We started the hike at about 8:30am, which I think is the way to go. Since you park at Clingman's Dome if you start much later you'll be pressed to find a place to park. On a cool crisp day, this hike had a beautiful, alternative, and much less populated view than Clingman's Dome would. Well worth the 2 hour hike to see!

hiking
8 months ago

9 months ago

Hiked after the dome. I really enjoyed the hike!