Hemphill Bald Trail

MODERATE 24 reviews

Hemphill Bald Trail is a 13.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Maggie Valley, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October.

13.2 miles
2946 feet





nature trips

trail running




wild flowers



over grown


no dogs

2 months ago

Closed yesterday

4 months ago

Nice hike with lots of uphill. Saw bear twice but they were more scared of me than I was of them. Also tons of elk in the area.

5 months ago

Amazing hike! Feels like I got spoiled my first time out there! Some areas were somewhat challenging with some steep switchbacks but it’s worth it all for the views. Very active wildlife. Ran into some elk on the trail. Just have to step off trail to let them pass. Met some incredible people out there too. Looking forward to be out there again soon.

8 months ago

We hiked from the parking lot to the Bald and back for 10 miles. It's a bit more than 4. The trail is beautiful, relatively safe, and offers a few views here and there. At the Bald there's a bench and a plaque. Great photo op. Be prepared to walk in the pasture with cows or walk along the fence in waist high grasses. I would love to return to hike the whole loop or repeat the out and back. Enjoy.

9 months ago

What a great hike. Did the loop, it was little long but worth the work. Great views and beautiful scenery!! Definitely recommend

10 months ago

My sister and I hiked this trail in the rain, sleet, and snow. What a challenge! We hiked the entire loop. Some horses passed us and added to the challenged. They tore up the wet trail and left their mark.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Perfect fall hike, great views of the mountains in the distance and experience the change in the color of the leaves as the elevation change. This is the 3rd time I have done this hike and this time of year is my favorite!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Nice hike

Saturday, July 02, 2016

Nice trail

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Beautiful trail. Saw elk along the way! Be careful as I heard numerous reports that bears frequent this trail. Besides that, it was a fairly easy hike. I will say that it is a 'gradual uphill' most of the way so prepare to get a little bit of cardio work done!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Couldn't get to it gate was blocking sheep back rd

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

My 17 year old son and I got onto the trail at Polls Gap and proceeded to Hemphill's Bald. The views were really fantastic! The hike on the way was definitely strenuous at times, but enjoyable! After the Bald, we proceeded on Hemphill Bald Trail, but missed our turn at Double Gap. If you go straight ahead at Double Gap, you will be on Cataloochee Divide Trail. We ended up following that trail, accomplishing right at 9 miles total for the day, before we exited the trail at Big Laurel Road where we were picked up by my husband. I sure wish we had accomplished our goal of the whole loop, but we did enjoy a great hike with stunning views!

Friday, April 24, 2015

Starting from Caldwell Fork, the Hemphill Bald Trail begins as one of the most tedious paths in the Catalooch. If the deep erosion from weather and horse travel makes you grateful you brought your boots, the six stream crossings will make you even happier you waterproofed them. At the first crossing, you have to hug the laurel on the right side of the stream to be able to discern where the trail picks up on the other side. I had to ford the next crossing, so packing a small towel is recommended.

After the final crossing, you'll encounter a lone, old growth poplar!

The trail conditions improve as it begins its strenuous 2 mile ascent toward the the Cataloochie Divide. On the way, you'll get some excellent views of Balsam and Sterling to the northwest and views of the approaching divide ridge to the south. When you arrive to the park boundary on the divide, the Cataloochie Ranch is beyond the fence line with awesome views of the Pisgah corridor to the northeast, the Plott Balsam range due east and Hemphill Bald waiting in the south.

Based on the beauty of the trail during its earnest ascent and the rewards to come at the divide, I'd easily give this trail 4 stars - but the first mile is too brutal to forgive.

Worthwhile? You bet!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Great Hike, not a lot of steep up hill. Beatiful views for Fall Season. Got to take tons of pictures!

5 months ago

8 months ago

8 months ago

Monday, September 26, 2016

Monday, September 05, 2016

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Wednesday, June 11, 2014