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Andrews Bald via Forney Ridge TrailModerate

Andrews Bald via Forney Ridge Trail

Distance (One Way)

1.8 miles

Elevation Gain

-558 feet

Trailhead

Clingmans Dome

Trail Description

Andrews Bald Trail is actually the first 1.8 miles of Forney Ridge Trail from the Clingmans Dome parking lot. You'll find the trailhead to the left of the base of the half mile paved trail to the Clingmans Dome observation tower. This hike in the Smokies is on the easier side of moderate; the only part that can be fairly challenging is the latter uphill climb of the last mile back to Clingmans Dome.

Andrews Bald is the highest bald in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (5,860 feet) and offers some of the most magnificent views you'll find on either side of the Appalachian Trail. To reach the bald you'll take Forney Ridge Trail from the parking lot of Clingmans Dome for approximately 1.8 miles. The entirety of Forney Ridge Trail is actually 5.4 miles.

Andrews Bald Trail can be quite rocky, but this part of Forney Ridge was significantly improved by the Trails Forever reconstruction project from 2008-2011.

Andrews Bald Trail isn't very difficult on the first trek. Most of it is downhill from Clingmans Dome, and the trail improvements make it much easier to navigate the rocks, roots, and erosion. It's a great hike for any time of the year but most popular during the spring. Aside from incredible views of far away mountain ridges, other sights you'll enjoy atop Andrews Bald include flame azaleas, rhododendrons, and Fontana Lake.

"Andrew's Bald is one of several "balds" in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which are so named because they are mountaintops that are not covered by trees, but are instead covered by grass, rhododendron, and mountain laurel." - AllTrails

[+ Read More]
#bald
#clingmans dome
#flame azaleas
#forney ridge
#north carolina
#rocky
#views
#wildflowers

Hiker Tips & Trivia

  • The first mile of the hike can be more strenuous, but becomes more moderate the farther you go.

Photo Gallery

Trail Map

Show Complete List Of Hikes & Trails (58)

The above list of hiking trails in the Smokies is incomplete and constantly being updated. If you have information or photos you would like to contribute, please contact caroline@pigeonforge.com.