Andrew's Bald Trail

MODERATE 97 reviews

Andrew's Bald Trail is a 3.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Cherokee, North Carolina 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.

DISTANCE
3.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
839 feet
ROUTE TYPE
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.

hiking
2 months ago

This trail was awesome! However, all of the signs read that the total length of the trail was 1.8 miles.... Not true.... I do not recommend bringing small children, and I would be prepared to bring trekking poles and possibly some snacks... The view was SO worth the trip though!!!

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked on a very cold, misty morning and it was absolutely beautiful. No views from the bald this time, but the forest leading to it more than made up for it. Incredible place.

2 months ago

This is an awesome walk!

hiking
2 months ago

This was an awesome hike. We started early when it was about 40 degrees but warmed up once we got to hiking. The hike is totally worth it when you walk out onto the bald. A very beautiful and awe inspiring view.

hiking
2 months ago

Starting at the top of the mountain means the hike to the summit is downhill and the hard part is the way back to the parking lot! An interesting change from most places in GSMNP. It's a pretty cool hike but make sure you try to go on a clear day (hard to come by in the Smokies).

hiking
2 months ago

Took the long way!!! Up Clingmans Dome to AT then down the Clingmans Dome bypass to Andrews Bald!! Adds about 1.2 miles to trail. The views from the AT towards Gatlinburg are >> WOW!!

When you come to the end of the timber and step out and onto the bald, can take your breath away!!! Take a blanket to sit on and a PICNIC!!!! :-)

hiking
2 months ago

a great kickoff hike at the great smoky mountains, especially if you have a late start or are short on time. trail is well marked and maintained, with lots of shade. would highly recommend bringing lunch to enjoy and bask in the stunning scenery. plus, that fuel of energy will help on the incline back up!

hiking
3 months ago

Excellent hike. The views at Andrew's Bald are amazing! Took a little over 2 hours to hike there and back. Highly recommend for anyone looking for a shorter hike with great views.

hiking
3 months ago

Amazing views at the top, everything looks so surreal and truly makes you think you're looking at a picture. Fairly easy hike but wouldn't take children as it might be a little too difficult for young ones.

hiking
3 months ago

Nice hike. Took about 1:05 one way. Trail fairly busy and very rocky at times. Nice view from the top. Good workout. Pack a snack and eat at the top.

hiking
3 months ago

Not a bad trail. Moderate rating is correct! Be ready to climb hills, but it's not steep. At a pretty steady incline. Went while it was raining. Beautiful even with clouds, fog, and rain. Parts of the trail do flood though, so if you go when it rains, prepare for wet feet!

hiking
4 months ago

Did this hike on a foggy day, which made the trail fun, but the visibility from Andrews bald wasn't great. Also noticed a lot of bees at the bald! The trail starts downhill and ends uphill, which I wasn't fully prepared for.

hiking
4 months ago

Spectacular! A great family hike. The bald is an excellent place to relax and snack after the trek down there. Or should I say fuel up for the climb out!

hiking
5 months ago

The trail leading down to the green field was pretty enough. It wasn't that strenuous and pretty straight forward. We were a little disappointed with the end point view.

hiking
5 months ago

5 months ago

We went the week after Father's Day in June and the Flame Azaleas were a spectacular sight in peak bloom

hiking
6 months ago

It's a nice wooded trail with decent rock formations at the beginning. The view from Andrews Bald is nice, but not spectacular. We did it as a warm-up hike our first day in the Smokies. After doing it, I would say it is slightly more strenuous than a warm-up hike.

hiking
6 months ago

Great views from the Bald, and it's a great picnic spot. Well worth the hike, just be sure to bring bug repellent!

backpacking
6 months ago

Views are amazing from Andrew's Bald. The only sounds were singing birds and at night, it was silent. The clouds painted the sky rainbow colors and the mountains were a sparkling blue. The foliage is also breath taking.

hiking
6 months ago

i hiked this yesterday and despite the rain it was one of my favorite hikes yet. absolutely beautiful. there was never a dull moment and the atmosphere changes so much when you finally get to the bald, it gives you chills! it was very foggy so i can imagine when it's clear you can see a lot more, but even with the fog it had a wonderful vibe about it. the hike there is mainly downhill, so except to hike up hill on the way back!

Load More