Andrew's Bald Trail

MODERATE 90 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
9 hours ago

hiking
2 days 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
4 days ago

hiking
5 days 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.

9 days ago

This is an awesome walk!

hiking
9 days ago

hiking
14 days ago

hiking
14 days 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
15 days 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
19 days 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
21 days 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
22 days ago

22 days ago

hiking
23 days ago

hiking
27 days 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
28 days 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
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago