Andrew's Bald Trail

MODERATE 55 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
885 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
4 days ago

hiking
15 days 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
18 days 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
26 days 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
26 days ago

hiking
28 days ago

hiking
29 days 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!

1 month ago

We hiked on Saturday June 17, 2017. We really enjoyed the Flame Azaleas. Beautiful trail. We will be back.

hiking
1 month ago

Relatively easy trail with great highland meadow views at the end.

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

Great trail! It's like being transported to middle earth for most of the trail. Great for birdwatching along the way. when you get to the Bald it opens up to stunning views of the mountains. Timing is everyrhing. I went on June 11, 2017. rhododendrons and wild azaleas were in bloom. The rhododendrons were in full bloom. Several native azaleas were in full bloom, but most were a few days from full bloom. if you are in the area in the next week go. it's a steep rocky hike but we'll maintained and mostly shady. I will go back again

1 month ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

All downhill on the way there, uphill when returning. The bald was blocked by some shrubs which was disappointing. Still a pretty view

hiking
1 month ago

It is a moderate hike.. If you hike down clingmans dome parking lot, you will find it easy going down. You will gain a little elivation past 1.1 mile mark. I would say hiking back to parking lot can be rated more towards sterneous than moderate. It is a 2 hr hike out and back without any stops.

One last suggestion. Once you reach the bald, make sure u wait for the fog to clear out.

hiking
1 month ago

This was a beautiful hike a little tough going back was pretty steep!

hiking
2 months ago

2 months ago

Nice, accessible hike for a morning for afternoon. Really nice views relative to the work you have to put in. Great lunch spot overlooking North Carolina. Recommend it in conjunction with Clingman's Dome.

2 months ago