Explore the most popular walking 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.

backpacking
2 days 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.

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
17 days 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.

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.

Easy walk, lots of people, beautiful waterfall

Very easy walk along the river. Used heavily but well maintained. Favorite among locals. I have seen birds, squirrels, deer and elk while on this trail. Some people use this as a light jogging trail in the mornings like I did. Has a little bridge and a few benches to sit and rest on along the way. There are a few story boards on this trail that tell of the Cherokee history. This trail is easy enough for older folks too. There are a few access points to the river with small beaches and you pass under a bridge. Lovely little walk. Seems like only a mile and a half walk.

hiking
24 days ago

This is one of my most favorite hikes in the smokies. The terrain is manageable if hailed from the top down. Through the whole trail from start to finish you will experience the vast wild flowers that the smokies are famous for. The trail was in excellent shape given the amount of rain it had a week before. Very few campers in the area.

I took this hike while visiting the Clingman's Dome tower. This was a nice hike downhill from the parking lot. it is rocky some places but levels out a bit towards reaching Andrew's Bald. The hard part is the hiking upward towards the parking lot. it is a good workout and just taking your time it will be a pleasant experience.

beautiful trail and area. It does have some steep grades but is well worth the walk.

hiking
1 month ago

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
1 month 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!

Pretty falls, easy walk.

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

hiking
2 months 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
2 months 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
2 months ago

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

hiking
2 months ago

Great views at the end. Hike just average

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.

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