Andrew's Bald Trail

MODERATE 66 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
7 hours ago

8 days ago

15 days ago

hiking
16 days ago

21 days ago

hiking
22 days 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
28 days 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
1 month 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
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

2 months ago

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

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 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
2 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
2 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
2 months ago

hiking
3 months ago

hiking
3 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!

3 months ago

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

hiking
3 months ago

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