Explore the most popular no dogs trails near Cherokee with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Well maintained trail. Pretty views from the bald. Weird to be climbing up on your way out, but doable & lovely.

Peaceful hike to a gorgeous bald with stunning views. The day we went the parking lot was packed but everybody else went the other way, we had the trail to ourselves, literally, all the way down and back up. Loved the hike. Not too strenuous, and took us under 2 hours.

It was a good trail, but I would not recommend it for anyone’s first time backpacking or camping. It had rained the few days prior to me and my gf doing it and the creeks were so full and crossing them was pretty dangerous. But overall a great trip. Plan for it to take 2-2.5 full days to complete the trail if it has rained recently.

hiking
15 days ago

Not too strenuous there or back. The trail becomes a little shrouded at times but nothing too bad. The way down the first mountain is gorgeous with great views. The shelter at the bottom is a cool place to stop at and if you go during summer there are some very pretty flowers. After the shelter there aren’t really any great views to see, but still a couple minor ones. The bald is very overgrown and there is little to no view once you arrive, but there is another shelter a little was down the other side to stop for a little rest. Overall not the best hike I’ve been on but not the worst at all.

The trail was wonderful! We went in the morning (started about 8am) and it never got too hot which was a huge plus for me, especially since it was mid July. The sights were beautiful and completely worth it. I got to see a momma dear and her two babies on the trail also!

I do warn though, it gets very busy since it’s in a very touristy area so going early would be the best. When we got done with the hike, it was very crowded and a lot of people were on the trail then. So go early if possible!

hiking
29 days ago

Beautiful views. Easy hike so bring a picnic!

I'm not sure what you have seen if you stop so early. Probably worth doing something else if you can't walk more than this, and if you can walk more, probably worth going to charlie bunion

hiking
1 month ago

Did this along with a bigger loop. I'd say I usually love ridge walking, but this isn't one of them. I think going south instead of west gives you better view points.

The trail is well maintained, so expect to do this fairly quickly for a 21 miler (did it in about 8hours). It was cloudy and rainy, so that might have affected my experience, but I felt it was all that great. The best view points are at the begining, doing the whole loop is a bit excessive.

hiking
1 month ago

I liked this one. It was an easy walk, mostly down, well marked. The view isn't breathtaking, but it is nice. I did it as part of Forney Ridge to Silers Bald to Clingman Loop. This is probably the best segment of it

hiking
1 month ago

Made a 3-night, 4-day loop of it.
Day 1 - Left from Clingman's Dome and stayed first night at #68. Pretty steep down with a few water crossings. Two sites to chose from at #68, both decent and right on the river.
Day 2 - Several river crossings, some waist high water and a little worrisome, but overall a beautiful hike. Stayed at #70.
Day 3 - Hiked up Jonas Creek Trail, to Welch Ridge to stay at Silers Bald shelter. Up-hill the whole way and makes for a long hike, but pretty good views the last few miles.
Day 4 - Hiked the AT out back to CD.

hiking
1 month ago

great walk! saw a huge bear about 15-20 feet away from me, we smelled each other and guessed what's the other's next move.. ended up alive to tell ;) was amazingly thrilling!

Great hike, beautiful views. Unique in that you hike down first and ascend on return.

hiking
1 month ago

Main trail muddy in many spots. Side trail to waterfall at .7 m from Heintooga Rd, once again open, is very steep, muddy and very slippery. Do not recommend.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked to camp 53. Quiet walk with some steep switchbacks near the trailhead. The camp was settled right on the creek.

hiking
1 month ago

Decent trail with nice variety of flat, ascents, and descents. You cross the creek a few times. Perfect for my wife and I.

Great way to get away from the crowds at Clingmans Dome. The trail is well maintained. It goes downhill from the parking area so be prepared for coming uphill on the way back. Most of the trail is tree covered and it was nice and cool with the breeze.

hiking
1 month ago

We were camping near by at Balsam Mountain Campground. Great hike, but true to the other reviews, the trail was a little muddy and the creek crossing were sketchy in high water. We also couldn’t find the waterfall.

hiking
1 month ago

It’s a nice way to get away from the crowds. First hike we did upon getting to the park. Did it first and then Clingmans. The bald provides really nice views and a good place for a meal before hitting the much more crowded Clingmans.

Super green! Great view at the top and still some late season azeleas

hiking
1 month ago

This is one of my favorite trails in the park. We hiked this fairly early in the day with two as school-aged children after going to the Clingman's dome tower. 100 yards down the trail and we had left 99% of the crowds behind. We saw only a handful of other hikers on our way out to the bald. Trail goes downhill most of the way to the bald, meaning you are hiking uphill on the way back, with the steepest section right before the parking lot. Trail is varied with a lot of neat sections of spruce forest. The bald was spectacular. The flame azaleas were blooming and the views were fantastic on the day we hiked. Highlight of the hike for us was seeing a mother bear and two cubs of the side of the trail about a quarter mile before the bald.

backpacking
2 months ago

Started at Clingmans Dome and made our way down to site #68. We camped there for the night because it was just too beautiful and peaceful not to camp by a waterfall. The next morning we made our way down to #69. The creek crossings were not bad except for the very last one to reach the camp spot. Due to heavy rain that day the water was way up and stomach deep. I ended up bending one of my treks while navigating across. However, we conquered it and came out alive. Definitely not for beginners when the creek is up like that in my opinion, but definitely a peaceful sleep for those who do it!

hiking
2 months ago

Good for a short, quick hike with good views on a clear day.

hiking
2 months ago

I would rate this trail as easy on the descent to the bald, and easy/moderate on the uphill return to Clingman’s Dome. Lots of man made stairs and structures along the first 0.5 mile from Clingman’s Dome, becoming more natural as you get closer to the bald. We did see one black bear approximately 15 yards from the trail, but it kept to itself. Other hikers reported seeing a female with two cubs earlier in the day as well. Absolutely beautiful views from the open grassy area of the bald!! For those who are typically looking for a more challenging hike, this trail is still worth considering for its spectacular views.

hiking
2 months ago

Approach up Beech Gap is steep. Balsam Mt Trail is long and pleasant to the AT.

hiking
2 months ago

My review is from the perspective of an amateur landscape photographer.

The views from Andrew's Bald are very good. I went during the middle of the day which is a "no-no" in landscape photography, but my purpose was to check out the composition to determine if a return visit is warranted either during the fall or during the golden hour.

I plan on returning but you should be aware there are two major caveats. First the views (which are very good) are limited to south only and you won't get the sun either at dawn or sunset. Second, the views from the start of the trail, i.e. the Clingman's Dome parking lot, are just as good if not a little better. So if you are just interested in landscape photography (or just taking in a view) and not in hiking, then you can skip this trail and shoot from the parking lot. And from the parking lot you actually have a more expansive view and can catch the setting sun.

Having said that, there may be one good reason to go all the way to the bald and thats blooming rhododendron in mid-June. They may make good foreground interest, but I haven't seen it first-hand yet.

An absolutely beautiful loop. I love this area of the park.

The park ranger called it a green tunnel and green tunnel it was. Moderate traffic especially for MDW. Took a side path to a cascade.

on Flat Creek Trail

hiking
2 months ago

Be aware that hiking this trail during rainy months make crossing the river very dicey. We hiked in just fine, but it began to rain on our hike down, and the small, shallow river turned in to a rager. We had to figure out another way to get across by holding on to branches in powerful waist deep water to prevent being swept down the river. Adventure! But definitely a little scary.
Aside from that the hike was amazing. The forest is so gorgeous -- lost of snails, centipedes and mushrooms. I would suggest going when there is very little chance of rain.

hiking
2 months ago

Easy walk and a little muddy.

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