||H I K I N G
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
North Carolina/Tennessee Border
Sunday, November, 7, 2004
Location: Near Clingmans Dome, the highest point in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Distance: 3.6 miles
Elevation Change: 600 feet
Tread: Forest path, barren bald
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Proported to be one of the Smokie's finest hikes, a trek to Andrews Bald promises scenic passageway through an extraordinary spruce-fir forest to the hike's prize, a grassy field upon a bald where you receive an unobstructed view of the Great Smoky Mountains.
There are a number of "balds" in the park, others include Max Patch, Gregory Bald, and Stratton Bald. Historically, vast stretches of barren space found only upon a few mountain peaks were kept clear of trees and brush by grazing elk and bison. With the arrival of the Whiteman and his agriculture, cattle replaced the wildlife as the primary field cutters. However, cattle grazing was prohibited with the creation of the park in 1934. Since then, the park service has been tasked to maintain the balds through alternative methods; the manual removal of young trees and brush.
Wow! This sounds like a pretty good hike to me! Not only do you get a good bang-for-your-buck on this hike, the hike looks to be an easy one as well. Additionally, it appears I can indiscriminately destroy trees and brush once I get to the top of the bald! Major bonus!!!
Come with me on the hike, I'm about ready to leave!
Description & Pics