Hooper Bald is a 1.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near McGuires, North Carolina that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

1.2 miles
147 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly



nature trips



wild flowers

Easy, okay views. Good for a short hike out with kids or a dog.

5 months ago

Nice short walk.

6 months ago

it was a nice little hike. one view of the mountains. not very impressive.

7 months ago

My review is from the perspective of an amateur landscape photographer

I initially rated this trail as 2 stars with respect to landscape photography. And that assessment still stands. There just aren't any impressive views from the summit. Pick Huckleberry Knob instead.

But if you like wildflowers, especially Flame Azaleas, then this is one of the best hikes you can take. I counted 30+ Azalea bushes. They start to bloom the first week of June, but you really want to wait until mid-June for most of them to bloom.

If you want to see the best Azaleas then you want to hike Gregory Bald. But it's 11.6 miles and 3359' elevation gain and takes all day to hike. This hike is only 1.6 miles with less then 200' gain. And the Azaleas are just as pretty, but you won't see the hybrid colors that are unique to Gregory Bald.

11 months ago

My review is from the prespective of an ameteur landscape phtographer.

The trail is easy to follow even though it is unmarked. It's generally as wide as a sidewalk and topped with gravel. But as of Feb '18 300 yards of the trail has been washed out by the winter rains. It's still passable, but you'll encounter mud, rocks and tree roots.

Once you reach the bald there's really not a lot to photograph. The field is lined with trees and there are only a couple openings to see the mountains beyond. This limits your options to trying to be creative with an open field. Not very satisfying.

However, I use the field to practice flying my drone. It's a legal area, big open fields and very few if any people to accidently hit. And once your drone is above the trees there are some pretty pics of the mountains beyond.

But unless you want to fly a drone, there's not much opportunity for conventional landscape photography on the bald.

There are however, wild azaleas on the mountain. I plan to go again in June to see what they look like. I will update this review at that time.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

It was ok. Easy hike. No one else on trail. Not too interesting.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Not knowing what a bald was, we set out on a hike in the mountains on the N. Carolina/Tennessee border. While the hike itself was OK, we were pretty disappointed to learn a bald was basically a prairie. We're from the Midwest so we're pretty conditioned to seeing prairies.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Easy to find trailhead on Cherohala Skyway. Easy trail out to the bald which offers great views back towards the Tennessee side. Lots of azalea, buttercups, and blackberry blooms the day we were there. Hard to imagine a better place to sit/lay down and watch clouds forming and reforming.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Really easy hike to the top. Some pretty wildflowers on the way up. Once at the top I was impressed with the size of the bald! Amazing views. The trailhead is easy to find thanks to a sign along the Skyway marking it as Hooper Bald and pointing you to the parking lot. Definitely worth the short, easy hike!

2 months ago

6 months ago

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Friday, November 25, 2016