Hikes with a View
(3.6 miles round-trip, moderate)
Andrew’s Bald is one of the Smokies’ mysterious highland grassy meadows, called a bald. It is a lovely, magical place, great for relaxing in the sun or even playing a game of Frisbee or catch. The hike departs the Clingmans Dome parking area and travels Forney Ridge Trail.
(4 miles round-trip, strenuous)
This is a difficult but rewarding hike that takes you to the rock formations known as the Chimneys. The trailhead is located almost seven miles south of Sugarlands Visitor Center along the Newfound Gap Road.
Alum Cave Bluff and Mount Leconte
(10 miles round-trip, strenuous)
Alum Cave Bluff and Mount LeConte are destinations for seasoned hikers. It is 2.3 miles from the trailhead to Alum Cave Bluffs, and another 2.7 miles to Mount LeConte. (Don’t be misled by the relatively short distances; this is a challenging hike.) Pause for views at Cliff Tops and Myrtle Point. The trailhead for this excursion is located 6.8 miles south of Sugarlands along the Newfound Gap Road.
(8 miles round-trip, moderate)
Charlies Bunion follows the Appalachian Trail along the ridge of the mountains. The trail departs Newfound Gap and provides lovely views along the way. It passes through the spruce-fir forest, where you can see evidence of the Fraser fir’s demise.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Tennessee, 5th Edition