Andrews Bald via Forney Ridge Trail

3 reviews #21 hike out of 614 in
1.8 mi
59 min
584 ft
Elev Gain


This is a easy out-and-back trail to Andrews Bald in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The popular, heavilly-traveled trail leads through spruce forests and mixed hardwoods to an open meadow with good views toward the south and east. The trail is especially noteworthy in June, when flame azalea are in bloom with their bright orange blossoms.

Getting Started

From Gatlinburg, TN or Cherokee, NC follow US 441 to the well marked side road to Clingmans Dome. Follow Clingmans Dome Road to its end at a large parking area and visitor center. This is the same parking lot as for the Clingmans Dome summit access. The trail leaves through a passage in the stone wall between the rest rooms and gift shop. Follow this access trail to the signed intersection with the Forney Ridge Trail and turn left (south).

NOTE: Clingmans Dome Road is CLOSED from December 1 to March 31.

Taking Children

The hike is good for older children. The footing is rocky in spots which could pose a problem for smaller kids.

    Rate this Hike

    5 months, 3 weeks ago
    Saturday trip to Clingman;s Dome. Parking was scarce as usual on a Saturday. Weather was bright and sunny. Trail was about 90 percent dry, several areas of wet and ice. Andrews Bald was absolutely gorgeous on this sunny day. The trip is only about 3.5 miles R/T but should be considered difficult considering the rocks and elevation gain coming back up. Well worth the time and effort.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    2 years, 3 months ago
    Parked at dome for a down and back up hike with the wife and our 10 month old along for the ride in a baby-carrier. Chilly at the high elevation, warmed up as we descended. Absolutely spectacular views on the bald. Plenty of space for a nice picnic lunch and photo ops - plenty of other hikers doing the same but plenty of space for privacy. Hiking back up was a bit of a chore but well worth it. Parking at Clingnan’s Dome like everywhere else in the park is a bit of a nightmare but worth the wait if you can stand it
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    2 years, 11 months ago
    Great hike for the family. Trail is in good condition and easy to navigate. Hiked on Fathers Day 2019 - flame azaleas on the bald are still in bloom.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Public Tracks

Jason G. 5 years, 10 months ago
Andrews Bald Trail Great Smoky Mtns,Clingmans Dome,NC
ONEWAY Trail(Out & Back) 3.6 Miles Total(Moderate 5.3) Area-Clingmans Dome Views-Outstanding Highest Elevation-6310ft. Beautiful Views Trail has steps and rocks to hike over and some elevation on the way back.
carolinapackerfan 1 year, 6 months ago
rliuzza 1 year, 11 months ago
bscoleman 2 years, 6 months ago
christiandferro 2 years, 7 months ago
@GoAverywhere 2 years, 8 months ago
kanae 2 years, 11 months ago
Susan Porter 2 years, 11 months ago
Greg 4 years, 10 months ago