Explore the most popular nature trips 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.

hiking
1 day ago

Short hike just visited to kill some time for 441 to reopen. I’ve definitely seen better falls.

hiking
2 days 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
7 days 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.

Nice, easy hike. You can extend past the 3.1 by continuing along the sidewalk on the main road if you want. We took our dog with us and he loved it. Nice and shaded, which was great on this hot July day. There were also kids playing in the water near the bridge - so easy to take a dip if you get hot. We saw about a dozen elk near the beginning/end of the trail on our way back (super close, too!), which was cool.

hiking
12 days ago

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

hiking
13 days 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
15 days ago

We arrived late in the day. There were two portable plastic bathrooms there in poor condition. At the entrance there was a steep climb up some 200 or so steps. Then the trail levels out and shortly after, you arrive at a bridge where you can see the falls. It's a short, .4-mile hike. Access to the falls, like actually walking around on the rocks in front of them, is not very easy. And there can be a lot of people around. However, it's a nice sight and not a lot of work is required to get there.

walking
18 days ago

Quickie walk to the falls to look for a geocache (DNF) but enjoyed meeting lots of people and the adventure. Did this trail several years ago.

hiking
18 days 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
18 days 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.

easy climb, well worth it

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

Super short and green hike, not a lot of water tho

Great hike. Short for The whole family. My son and I climbed to the top of it. Great photo opportunities.

hiking
24 days ago

Hiked this trail in a little over two hours, just like the sign at the trailhead says. The trail to the tower runs through biking trails that are a part of the Fire Mountain system, but it’s marked all the way up. Look out for bikers and other hikers as the trail intersects several times. We brought the dog with us and she had a great time, too. The trail itself is clearly marked, relatively clear and bramble-free, and winds through the woods. It does get a little narrow at some places. Go on clear days!! We made the mistake of going right before a storm rolled in and being on a mountain during lightning and high winds is scary! The towers are cool and the view of Cherokee is amazing.

Great Trail. Loved the trail being near the river almost the entire way, as well as the rocky "beahces" available for stops throughout. Also, we saw at least 5 different elk throughout our walk, which lasted from about 11:00 am to 12:30 pm.

hiking
28 days 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
1 month 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!

Great trail and the kids lives jumping in the river around .6 miles into the hike right before the bridge. Would hike again!

We went to this trail this morning. My boyfriend and I wore water shoes and hiked back to the falls to get an up close view. If you think it was beautiful from the bridge, it is breathtaking to make the climb over to it.

The stairs were difficult. The rest of the trail was decent. Our dog did great... very crowded but a beautiful waterfall.

hiking
1 month ago

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

A very beautiful waterfall. short hike to falls.

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
1 month ago

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

hiking
1 month 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.

Short climb to beautiful falls. Definitely worth the numerous steps.

Load More