Nearly the perfect hike for those who enjoy a long walk in the woods without having to deal with rocky and mountaneous terrain, until you return via the AT. But even that is limited to about a half mile. Or you can go back the way you came. This trail is also popular with cross country skiers for reasons explained below. And on skis you have to return the same way you came.
This hike begins at the Big Bald parking lot and continues straight ahead into the woods via an old decomissioned FS road. This road eventually crosses the AT and continues ahead through multiple switchbacks with an unusually gentle descent. It ends when it reunites with the AT at a clearing that is often a popular camping area for through hikers or weekender enthusiasts. A water sign is also nailed to one tree indicating spring water is near, but don't believe it. It's ahead down a very steep path, the kind that by the time you find water you realize that you now have an incredibly brisk hike going back up.
If you return via the AT you'll also pass the short spur trail to the Bald Mtn shelter. If you've never seen a shelter on the Appalachian Trail, this is your opportunity.
Note that if you return via the AT, the 700' of gentle descent over 1.25 miles now has to be recovered in 1/2 mile which is challenging for some. If you return the way you came give yourself, credit for hiking an additional 3/4 mile.
Also note that Googe Maps has incorrectly plotted the Appalachian Trail. When the path crosses the AT, until you reach the AT after multiple switchbacks, that entire section is south of the AT. The website Alltrails.com has it right.