Explore the most popular forest 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.

I do not consider this a moderate, family friendly hike. It was difficult in places. The hike to the bald was moderate. The hike back to the parking area was difficult in places. This hike starts at a higher elevation and descends. So returning is mainly uphill on rocky terrain. It was beautiful at the bald, perfect place for a pic-nic . Walking sticks, bug spray and plenty of water is recommended.

hiking
10 days ago

If you’re at Clingmans Dome take the time to take this trail. From the observatory you can hit the AT for .3 of a mile where you will come to the Clingmans Dome Bypass trail. Take it .5 to the Andrews Bald Trailhead. It’s 1.7 miles from there. Mostly downhill to the destination. It opens up to a beautiful area with views that a camera can’t capture the depth.

Easy hike with kids. Beautiful wildflowers!

It was nice to have a good portion of the trail to ourselves even though it was a Saturday (sweat Heifer and beyond Charlie’s bunion encountered only 3 other groups total). Agree that the 3.7 mile portion of the sweat heifer was most difficult part of trail. Crossing streams/small waterfalls was fun throughout the kephart prong, sweat heifer, and dry sluice portions.

Pretty falls, easy walk.

hiking
1 month ago

Clockwise repeat a month later. With the river lower this was definitely more manageable and straighforward. Still have to shimmy or balance beam across a suspended fallen tree, and still 3 river fords to negotiate but all water crossings were quite reasonable. No need to bushwhack off trail which was just fine with me. Water level dropped 8-10 inches since March and made this trail even more enjoyable then before. Some fallen trees blocking the trail were even cleared! But you'll still be going barefoot or soaking your shoes 3-4 times to get back to the car:)

Different from many other trails in the park. Very rocky to start with. Lots of elevation changes. Nice payoff at the bald.

hiking
1 month ago

Pretty short and relatively easy hike. Starts to the left of the paved path up to Clingman’s Dome. The trail itself goes downward for the majority of the time until Andrew’s Bald, meaning you have to hike back up to the parking lot. Rocky trail with a decent amount of steps and some wood planks to use. Gorgeous less crowded view and pretty area.

Wonderful view

The best view is from the parking lot. And it’s not exceptional for the BRP. The view from the viewing platform is worse and is partially obscured by trees. There are much better viewpoints along the BRP. Spend your limited time there.

Love waterfalls!!!

hiking
1 month ago

We hiked half of this trail last July. We looked at a map before heading in but 3 hrs and some bee stings later we weren't sure exactly how long the rest of the trail would be. Realizing, now, we should have kept going. We had our 5 kids and they really toughed this one out! (ages 4-14) This trail was beautiful and quite unique. Lots of flowers, mushrooms, and other beautiful foliage. If you're looking for a view, this is not the place to find one. If you want a nice hike while surrounded by nature's best, this is the one!

hiking
1 month ago

Hard walk getting there up all the way great views from tower easy on way back.

hiking
1 month ago

Great views at the end. Hike just average

hiking
1 month ago

Peaceful trail for the first 5.5 miles. Other reviews are very accurate. There is simply no trail over the water in multiple places and we were in the cold, fast moving water up to our calves trying to cross over slippery rocks, when we weren’t shimmying on our bum over a fallen tree that was 10’ above the water. An adventure for sure!

Very nice trail - it’s really a stroll through the woods along a river. Some really nice spots for picture taking. The kids were feeling too adventurous for the paved path so we took the dirt path closer to the river. It was beautiful.

Very short hike up stairs with a few muddy rocky patches that are a bit slick. The waterfall is breathtaking. The kids (ages 5 and 12) and the dog had no trouble at all.

walking
1 month ago

Quick walk up some steps. Steep but the steps help. It was beautiful short hike if you are in the area. I didn’t see where the trail continues up the mountain but next time we are in the area we will probably check it out again.

we planned on hiking Andrew's Bald, but completely forgot the road to Clingmans Dome is closed until April. So we hiked Sweat Heifer instead. for someone who's not in the greatest of shape, it wasn't that bad. My ankles hurt more than anything. Parts of the trail were icy and muddy slush, which made things even more interesting haha. we took several pictures, so we made several short stops. Once we got to the split, we took a right and stopped at a small grassy area. it was the perfect place to sit down, have a snack, and relax. After seeing more pictures, I wish we would've continued down the trail a bit more. The views weren't spectacular, but seeing the smoke roll in and the parts you could look out were beautiful. this hike isn't too terribly bad, I'd recommend it to anyone, just have good shoes, and water. slow and steady wins the race!! happy hiking.

hiking
2 months ago

Super packed with people! Suggest early rising to avoid the crowd and get decent pics!

hiking
2 months ago

been going to Mingo falls since I was a child. I absolutely love the magestic falls. it is a very easy trek as the path is mostly all stairs. one day i will hike up to the top.

hiking
2 months ago

Incredible hike! Very much worthwhile, but heed Patrick's previous review. Hiking clockwise, the first 3/4 of the trail were lovely. A gentle incline and then a more moderate climb, some fallen trees but nothing crazy. After descending back into the lower parts of the trail and rejoining the creekside walking, things started to change. My girlfriend and I had to shimmy across a 20 ft. fallen tree suspended 10 feet above the swiftly moving Caldwell-Fork. That was quite exciting, but after meeting two other parties struggling to find ways across more missing bridges, we all found ourselves bushwhacking through dense foliage to find alternate ways to rejoin the trail. We eventually ended up fording the Caldwell twice, with a very fast-moving current. The only other choice was to bail back the way we came and rehike the first 5 1/2 miles going counter-clockwise. The river crossings were manageable, but definitely a bit sketchy. Be warned! As the water level subsides these crossings should become much more reasonable, but keep the levels in mind if you decide to attempt the Boogerman this spring. A potential alternative could be to hike clockwise for the time being to be sure that the section repeatedly crossing the Caldwelll is within your comfort zone. All in all, with improved conditions this is a gem of a day hike that's really quite diverse and with nice trail conditions excluding the downed trees and bridges. I can't wait to get back out there!

My wife and I started the trail around 12:30 yesterday (3/4/18). We did the loop clockwise. It was a really nice hike - until the last 2 or 3 miles. Most of the bridges on the creek were not there. I suppose they have been washed away. In addition, there are many downed trees on the trail. My guess is that the park service will try to clear them before the busy season in late spring. The water was high and the current strong to the point that trying to cross the creek was dangerous. The trail crosses the creek numerous times, so it was necessary to either find a way across on fallen trees or attempt to bushwhack through very dense vegetation to meet up with the trail farther down, which was typically unsuccessful. We finished the hike around 4pm, pants and shoes wet. I always enjoy adventures, however, this one turned out to be more than we had planned for, mainly due to the high water. I would not recommend this trip for the typical hiker until water levels are lower and/or bridges across the creek are repaired/built.

This trail is beautiful and offers amazing views! We did it yesterday, February 27 and there were still some ice sickles and icy patches on the ground as we got higher. I feel the rating of “moderate” is fair as it is relatively short, but has some rugged terrain where you’ll be navigating over rocks and tree roots.

Very challenging! Very beautiful! I want to do it again someday!!!

A decent weekend loop. The Forney Creek trail portion follows an old logging road, which is a little uninspiring if you’re backpacking. The creeks are pretty, and the terrain is nicely varied from the high ridge-top hiking along the AT to the hollows along Jonas Creek.

hiking
3 months ago

If you are into hiking you can carefully cross the river using the downed trees and rocks under the waterfall (hiking stick makes it easier) and hike up the left side, there is a path that leads to the top and a smaller waterfall is above it.

Difficult and steep but able to ride 100% of it on not only a full suspension MTB but on a rigid cyclocross bike. Great 3.5 climb from the Fire Mountain trail head if you incorporate Spearfinger for the first half.

walking
4 months ago

Went right after the first snow in December, 2017. While I did not enjoy all the steps, (rather would just walk up if possible), once at the Falls, all I could do was be in awe! Well worth the stairs!

At the beginning there’s a lot of steps on the stairway up then levels off nice and easy trail to the falls fun trip

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