Explore the most popular birding trails near McGuires with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

My review is from the perspective of an amateur landscape photographer

The trail is easy to follow and adequately marked with white diamond blazes painted on tree trunks. The trail itself is not too rough but there is the occasional stretch of football size rocks if that bothers you. The real issue is mud and flowing water. After a heavy rain the trail turns into a shallow creek with flowing water. You’ll need waterproof hiking boots during the spring or after a storm

The landscape photography opportunities are very limited. You don’t get any views along the trail except for the summit. And those views are particularly obscured by trees around the field. My advice is skip this trail and go to nearby Huckleberry Knob.

hiking
3 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.

My review is from the perspective of an amateur landscape photographer

The trail is easy to follow even though it is unmarked. It also serves as the access road for the trucks that occasionally mow the grass at the balds and is very wide. A few muddy spots but even after heavy rains it is negotiable

The view from both the southern and northern balds are pretty good. You can see multiple mountain ranges in the distance and there are numerous compositions using the trees in the fields. There’s also a grave maker at the northern summit with some interesting possibilities. I plan to return in the fall because the whole area is covered with deciduous trees. Lastly I think it’s a good spot to photograph the Milky Way; open southern skies and no light pollution.

backpacking
5 months ago

We camped here during a drive from North Carolina to Tennessee. It was a quick hike to the top, with beautiful views and no one else the whole night. It may or may not be haunted by the man whose bones are buried at the top (namesake of nearby Dead Man's Run), but we thought of him as a friendly ghost.

Easy. Short, pretty trail.

Great easy hike with our dogs. Packed in a picnic and enjoyed the amazing 360 views, pretty much had it to ourselves.

easy hike, great views, abundance of huckleberries.

This was absolutely stunning. Panoramic views and a pretty easy trail; kids would especially enjoy this because of the varying views and balds. Take a blanket and have a picnic in the mountains. :)

hiking
9 months ago

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

Nice leisurely trail. Great views.

hiking
10 months ago

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.

Huckleberry Knob trail was an easy hike with our 3 year old. The trail was easy to follow and not too steep. The weeds were a bit high in some parts. The view at the top was worth the weeds, nevertheless. The grassy knoll at the top is perfect for a picnic lunch.

Good walk but weeds could be cut back some.
Worth the time and energy for the 360 view at the top.

hiking
10 months ago

Nice easy hike with incredible 360 degree view. We were fortunate to have perfect weather as well.

hiking
11 months ago

One of the few true 360º views around. Sat last week on Hooper Bald looking across at the top and said to ourselves, "That's where we want to be." So this week we decided to go. It is an easy walk with the added bonus of Oak Knob. We could see endless blue ridges, watch the sky, enjoy the sun, feel the soft grass--just a delight. Looking forward to returning many times in the days to come.

hiking
11 months ago

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.

Beautiful! Easy hike with pretty wildflowers. View at the top is spectacular

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!

hiking
Monday, March 13, 2017

Lovely trail. Went when it was foggy so views were obscured but the foggy fields and forests were absolutely beautiful as well. Easy and quiet hike. Gets a little windy in the open places.

hiking
Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Easy hike. Beautiful views. Go on a clear day for sure. Very windy at times.

hiking
Wednesday, February 22, 2017

I've done this trail twice now and it was awesome. We went in the summer and wish we had come earlier in the spring due to the amount of wild flowers along the trail. Butterflies and bumblebees are everywhere so take your camera. Great views from the top with an elevation of over a mile high.

hiking
Thursday, December 29, 2016

My children and dog enjoyed the easy hike, the trail is easy to navigate and offers beautiful scenery.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

awesome views

Thursday, September 29, 2016

quick easy hike with full 360 view

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Amazing panoramic picnic spot 10 minutes up the trail.

camping
Sunday, July 10, 2016

Excellent short hike to the camping stead with beautiful views and gorgeous night sky views.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Easy, great views

hiking
Wednesday, June 08, 2016

fairly easy hike with phenomenal views! do it!!

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

nice wide trail of the cherohala skyway or parkway out of robbinsville, nc. It is around mile marker 7 or 8. make sure you go when everything is in bloom....it should be beautiful!

hiking
Wednesday, February 03, 2016

There is a 360 degree view when you get to the top. Well worth the climb. The trail is mostly through open fields. The is one of the many balds in the southern Appalachian Mountains.

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