Explore homeward bound - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

homeward bound Map

This is a great hike with an excellent reward at the top. Moderate, quick hike for such a beautiful view. We went counter-clockwise which was probably a little tougher with steeper climbs but that’s the way we like it.

12 days ago

We first hiked up to Clingmans Dome and from there to Andrews Bald. About 5 miles round trip. We were already tired by the time we got to the Andrews Bald trailhead from coming down all the rocks along the trail then going up up up then down then up. Lol Next time I would just start at the Andrews bald trail head from the parking lot. The scenery at the top of Andrews bald was just as beautiful as the one from the parking lot or from Clingmans Dome. But it was a beautiful hike.

I love this hike. very scenic And moderate hiking conditions.

Beautiful drive there. The parking lot is easily full. They have restrooms in the parking lot and offer lots of parking. The hike is a incline almost the whole time, but this is worth it! They maintain the hike well and it is beautiful! I didn't do the whole trail, but I got to the top and saw mountains forever!

Great hike! The trail distance and terrain was described well for this hike. Saw several traces of bears but no actual sighting. Enjoyed the hike and especially the view at the top. We were fortunate the weather was cool and the view from the top on this clear day is spectacular. Hiking poles, water, lunch and something to lay on at the top will make this hike special.

Pleasant trail with great views. Clockwise was great!

1 month ago

This was a nice hike. The views at the research station are great. There are several picnic tables and bathrooms there. Don't miss the old cabin.

Numerous beautiful views on this < 2 hr loop trail. A little muddy today and lots of fellow hikers but worth it

1 month ago

Great views. Trail repairs very nice.

1 month ago

Fairly easy uphill walk on a wide graded road. Beautiful views at the top! My 1st time here so I was a little confused when you come to the fork in the trail where you can either go up the grassy trail, shorter but steeper, or continue on the gravel road. Both end at the science center and views. I missed the turn for the Ferguson cabin and didn't have time to go once I realized my mistake. But I will definitely try this one again!

wonderful panorama's at the very top. one of the few trails that I traveled that is all uphill on on the way to the top with no downs, and all downhill on the way back. great facilities at the top and the research station is amazing

Follow Garrett's directions. very helpful regarding parking and the gate at the start...loved the trail.

My daughter and I hiked this trail this weekend, and it was amazing! It was the first time for us to hike a trail that offered scenery all the way through. We continued to walk, excited to see what was around the corner! Will do it again in the Spring!

Great hike and fantastic views

2 Mile Gentle Loop with exceptional views. Best hiked clockwise. Extremely overused, steps are in place all over the mountain. This is a Sacred Space, but one can feel the drained Energy and Spirituality. Mostly Yuppie Tourists. I have never seen so many soccer moms scowl at locals and power broker Dads scrambling to close deals on their cell phones. Hiked on a Monday and still the trail was crowded. Wonderful place to take epic photos if you are in a hurry. I had to stop and take breaks off trail because of the loud, nonsensical ramblings of the Country Club Visitors. Ridiculous. Respect. Please do not gape at me strangely if I do speak with the trees. The second star is because I met a group of 20 Ugandan Citizens on a Paid Expedition. They were so friendly and interested in my type of culture. Wonderful people. Peace, Love, Happiness, and Gooooo...

Great hike. Easy overall, but on a cool misty day, great to be on the trail. Very family friendly.

This trail offers so many panoramic views. The fact the you get this type of view in a recreational area in amazing. The trail is definitely better going clockwise on the loop. It allows you to see the best view last.

Great trail and amazing overlooks.

Love this trail! The fir trees are gorgeous!

on Andrews Bald Trail

1 month ago

one of my favorite hikes. very whimsical and magical forrest scenes

Agree that going clockwise is the way to go. A bit muddy in spots, but totally manageable. Linger at the top spots. We were too early for fall colors this year, but bet they’re amazing from 4900’.

2 months ago

Nice early morning hike to Andrews Bald. We beat the crowds but missed the views because of fog. Had breakfast at the bald though. Great hike. Will definitely do again.

2 months ago

This trail was not great for kids. Due to the road, just getting to an interesting spot was a two-mile walk, so not ideal. Once we got to the meadow we did enjoy the cabin but as we were four kids (ages 8-11) and three adults in our group, only half of us made it that far.

trail running
2 months ago

Great trail running. Beautiful views at the top!

2 months ago

RIP Mitzie Sue "Susan" Clements.

Beautiful hike easy if you take the left trail the right is more fun.

This was the first hike I’ve ever done and it’s still one of my favorites. It gets the blood pumping, especially on the way back since it’s mostly downhill on the way there. I was honestly speechless by the views. Just beautiful. There were a lot of bees once you got to the bald, but that’s to be expected. Most of the trail is covered, but weather does roll in and out quite quickly. It poured on us for half of the hike and there was a stream coming down at us while we hiked back. This made it fun for us and it cooled us down, but be well prepared with good shoes.

Incredible view! Earn it with the length but easy to moderate trail. Can run and bike it. So worth it no matter how you climb it!

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