Explore the most popular hiking 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.

on Hooper Bald

5 days ago

Nice short walk.

Great family hike.

hiking
1 month ago

Quick beautiful hike across meadows of wildflowers with a Mountain View in the distance.

hiking
1 month ago

Beeeeeautiful day!! Was sitting on top of the world with no one around for miles :) 65 degree weather at 8:45am!

hiking
1 month ago

I hiked to Huckleberry ridge today. it is a bald. basically a big Field, with wild flowers, and a couple of nice views. at the end of the trail, there is a small area, you could hang a hammock and camp. there is no water, you would have to bring your own.

hiking
1 month ago

it was a nice little hike. one view of the mountains. not very impressive.

hiking
1 month ago

This is a nice little trail. I don't recommend for a hike. if you are looking for a place to have a family picnic with kids. is a great place for that. it has a couple nice picnic tables, in a nice shaded area. it is a nice paved trail.

Beautiful view with some interesting history!

Stunning views from fields of wild flowers!

hiking
2 months ago

My review is from the perspective of an amateur landscape photographer

I initially rated this trail as 2 stars with respect to landscape photography. And that assessment still stands. There just aren't any impressive views from the summit. Pick Huckleberry Knob instead.

But if you like wildflowers, especially Flame Azaleas, then this is one of the best hikes you can take. I counted 30+ Azalea bushes. They start to bloom the first week of June, but you really want to wait until mid-June for most of them to bloom.

If you want to see the best Azaleas then you want to hike Gregory Bald. But it's 11.6 miles and 3359' elevation gain and takes all day to hike. This hike is only 1.6 miles with less then 200' gain. And the Azaleas are just as pretty, but you won't see the hybrid colors that are unique to Gregory Bald.

hiking
2 months ago

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

The hike is easy, short, paved and ADA accessible.

But it's disappointing if your goal is landscape photography. At the end of the trail is a viewing platform in the trees with a limited view of the mountains beyond. There's really only one composition as the platform is small and tress are beginning to crowd out the view. A better option is to walk west along the parkway for about 100 yards from the parking lot. You'll get a better view unobstructed by trees and have more composition options.

Unless you have the need to stretch your legs, I'd skip this location and spend your limited photography time at other locations.

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
6 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
8 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.

hiking
10 months ago

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.

hiking
11 months ago

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
Saturday, August 12, 2017

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

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Nice leisurely trail. Great views.

hiking
Tuesday, July 18, 2017

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.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

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.

Tuesday, July 04, 2017

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

hiking
Wednesday, June 28, 2017

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

hiking
Saturday, June 17, 2017

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
Saturday, June 10, 2017

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.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

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.

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