Forney Ridge Trail is a hiking trail in Swain County, North Carolina. It is within Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It is 5.5 miles long and begins at 6,306 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 11.0 miles with a total elevation gain of 3,179 feet. The Clingmans Dome Information Center And Book Store information office is near the trailhead. There are also parking and restroom. Andrews Bald can be seen along the trail. The trail ends near the Board Camp Gap saddle.
Forney Ridge Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"This trip encompasses what most people look for in a Smokies adventure: high-elevation views, old-growth forests, cascading streams, wildflowers, and a challenging hike. On the latter point, if you’re attempting this hike in one day, plan to start early and drag in late. Plan also to be a tired puppy by the end of the day. To complete this loop without benefit of a shuttle, you must walk the final 1.5 miles along Clingmans Dome Road, being very cautious to stay out of traffic by walking on the road shoulder."
--Kevin Adams, Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Falcon Guides).
"This is a tough but rewarding trek, involving numerous creek fords and an elevation change of more than 4,000 feet! Strap your shoes on for this hike because you have a long first day. Leave Clingmans Dome and travel Forney Ridge, passing Andrews Bald, with its wonderful views. Continue down Forney Ridge to make Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Campsite 71 on Forney Creek. The campsite is has a limited number of reservable sites, so call (865) 436-1231 to reserve a spot. Turn up Forney Creek, ascending a great valley along a scintillating mountain stream. Forney Creek has several fords, which can be challenging when the water is high. You have two choices for your second night’s destination—Steeltrap—camping either in a seldom-used clearing or beside Forney Creek Cascades. Your final day sees you climb back into the spruce–fir high country that cloaks only the highest elevations of the Smokies."
--Johnny Molloy, Day & Overnight Hikes in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Menasha Ridge Press).
"This tough but rewarding backpack involves numerous creek fords and an elevation change of more than 4,000 feet one-way! Travel Forney Ridge, passing Andrews Bald, to make Forney Creek. Ascend Forney Creek and visit Forney Creek Cascades on your return trip.
Clingmans Dome Road, the trail access and where this hike begins, is open from April through November; check ahead if you’ll be hiking during the shoulder seasons. June features great rhododendron and flame azalea blooms. Midsummer through fall is best for swimming and fishing Forney Creek. Fording the streams is safer then, because the waterways are at their lowest."
--Johnny Molloy, Top Trails: Great Smoky Mountains National Park - 2nd Edition (Wilderness Press).
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