The trail had a lot of man-made steps out of rock and timber. It also had a lot of planks over the land for pathways. The trail went downhill most of the way there and it had a few rocks and roots here and there. Once we get to the top of Andrew's ball we had a beautiful view of the mountains. The viewing area was about as big as a football field. We brought some food and had a nice, little picnic out there and baked in the sun for a while. There was a lot of room to spread out. The climb back up to the parking area was pretty steady and much more difficult. It's a good place to get your cardio workout. It took us almost 3 hours including the stay at the top.
Directions to Trailhead: From the Sugarlands Visitor Center near Gatlinburg, drive 13.2 miles south on Newfound Gap Road to Clingmans Dome Road. Turn right onto Clingmans Dome Road and drive another 7 miles to the end of the road. Due to its popularity, the parking area for the highest point in the Smokies is quite large. Andrews Bald is accessed via the Forney Ridge Trail, which is located at the far end of the parking lot.
Hiking Distance (Roundtrip Length): 3.5 Miles
Trail Difficulty Rating: 5.30 (moderate)
|A reminder of God's amazing creation|
|The trail begins from the Clingmans Dome parking lot and drops elevation to get to Andrews Bald.|
|Forney Ridge Trail|
|Butterfly vs Bee|
|Great view at highest point|