Length: 3.6 miles
Duration: 3 hours
Trail Difficulty: Moderate
Total Elevation Gain: 899 feet
Highest Elevation: 6,310 feet
Scenery: Spruce firs, flame
azalea, rhododendron, scenic overlook
Bald is a premier destination for hikers seeking that perfect view of the Smokies.
The Andrews Bald trail is the balanced combination of distance and difficulty that allows
hikers, even families, to really enjoy this hike. Andrew’s Bald is also the
highest bald in the Smokies.
Andrews Bald Trail Upgrades:
thanks to the Trails Forever program, hiking Andrew’s Bald became easier.
During the multi-year project, workers began rebuilding the Andrews Bald trail by placing
flat stones across different portions of the path, along with constructing many
trail steps out of locust wood and native rock. Drainage structures and
existing boardwalks were elevated to help maintain the longevity of the trail,
as well as for increased safety measures.
Hiking Forney Ridge Trail to
hike begins down the southern edge of Clingmans Dome, known as Forney Ridge.
This part of the trail takes hikers into a spruce-fir forest. Through this part
of the hike you may notice that there are many dead spruce trees. This is
caused by an insect, the balsam woolly adelgid, which infects Fraser Firs.
you’ve hiked at least a tenth of a mile in from the trailhead, the Clingmans
Dome Bypass Trail will start to fork off to the right. However if you go left
at this interchange the path will continue up to Andrews Bald trail. At about the 1.7 mile mark, the outskirts of
Andrews Bald, you will come to a grassy meadow, known as a bald, which makes
for a fantastic picnic spot. The sights aren’t bad either with panoramic views
of the highlands, Fontana Lake and the southern Smokies.
Directions to Andrews Bald Trail:
- Starting at the Sugarlands Visitor Center drive 13.2 miles south on
Newfound Gap Road.
- Turn Right onto Clingmans Dome Road and drive another 7 miles to the end
of the road
- The trail can be accessed via the Forney Ridge Trail which is located at
the far end of the parking lot.