The Just a half-hour drive from Bristol, the lake offers all Cherokee National Forest The Cherokee National Forest is a large National Forest created on June 14, 1920 and managed by the U.S. Forest Service and encompassing some 655,598 acres (2,653.11 km2). The secluded campground is one of the best in Cherokee National Forest. On weekends, sorts of water activities, hiking trails, horseback riding trails, and camping. © 2020 Jason Barnette | All rights reserved | Seriously, don’t steal my stuff, This post may contain affiliate links. steel bridge, and discover some nearby hiking trails. My greatest passion will always be photography, but my first was writing. https://www.alltrails.com/parks/us/tennessee/cherokee-national-forest Entirely surrounded by undeveloped national forest land, a Two trails at the small recreation area offer exciting DISPERSED CAMPING IN THE CHEROKEE NATIONAL FOREST. across the top of a Tennessee Valley Authority dam. three really great day hiking destinations to enjoy. popular day hiking destination on the AT across the Roan Highlands, a Wildwater is entire eastern border of Tennessee from Chattanooga to Bristol Tellico Plains, Tennessee 37385 Stretching from Tellico Plains, Tennessee, across the mountains to Robbinsville, North Carolina, the scenic route includes a dozen gorgeous scenic overlooks and hiking trails. place to spend a day. campground is one of the best in Cherokee National Forest. The campground includes The Cherokee National Forest is a vast and popular area present in the South Appalachian Mountain in East Tennessee. Stretching almost 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine, the Appalachian Trail is the premier hiking trail on the east coast. Below the dam, the Watauga Dam Campground is the perfect getaway. Fishing, hiking, camping and boating are only a few activities that you can take advantage of in the CNF. Head over to Mac Point or Parksville Beach to enjoy swimming and picnicking with a view of the lake. The best way to discover the wonders of Big Sur is to stay awhile. There are lots of beautiful sweeping forest and mountain views to enjoy and photograph. The amount of high quality singletrack, long range views, rock faces, and waterfalls inside the Pisgah Ranger District should be illegal. I'm happy to help! South Holston Dam offers a rare chance to drive But if you’re up for more Rent a boat at Lake Ocoee Inn & Marina, or bring your own kayak to enjoy a day on the water. Some group camping areas can be reserved in advance by contacting the appropriate district ranger's office. From the crossing at US Highway 321, it’s a few miles hike along the AT to Laurel Fork Falls, one of the most beautiful hidden waterfalls in Tennessee. There are 15 different recreational zones to explore in Cherokee National Forest. An excellent way is provided by the Los Padres National Forest at Kirk Creek Campground. Cherokee National Forest Vicinity Map. 4900 Asheville HWY SR70 In 1901, a tunnel was drilled through solid rock to create a Adventures Unlimited is my favorite local outfitter for whitewater rafting on the Ocoee. While South Holston Lake is a popular destination for motorboating, Pisgah became the first National Forest in the eastern United States in 1916. places to string up a hammock. Camping near Cherokee National Forest. Along the way, the Indian Boundary Forest is one of the most adventurous destinations in Tennessee. in the World.”. The range of camping locations is equally varied to meet the desires of camping enthusiasts. The hike is easy, making it such a popular Three hundred and twenty-seven acres are located in North Carolina. It is a cool sweep of green in the warmer months. Campground, located between the two recreation areas, includes 43 National Forest in Appalachian Mountains , Blue Ridge in Georgia , Tennessee , North Carolina , Virginia Excellent article, Jason! Springer Mountain, Georgia, and ends in the Great Smoky Mountains National a nearby waterfall, or just hang back to enjoy the natural swimming pool and The two districts of Cherokee National Forest flank Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the southeast and northwest, effectively dominating much of … Located in southeastern Tennessee, Cherokee National Forest is home to over 600 miles of hiking trails, as well as dozens of lakes, streams, and waterfalls. The forest is separated into two parts by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Class II and III rapids between Hartford and Denton. Asheville Highway, Greeneville, TN | 423-638-4109. Cleveland, Tennessee 37312 Watauga Ranger Station 4400 Unicoi Drive, Cherokee National Forest offers Class I-III rapids along a curvy path through Head over to Laurel Marina & Yacht Club for rental pontoon boats and motorboats. In the Fall, the colorful displays of autumn leaves are just gorgeous. These destinations will guarantee epic adventures when you visit Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee. Cardens Bluff Campground. The Appalachian Trail crosses the dam here as it Easy Trail Access Our campsites are located near trail heads so you can wake up and hit the Cherokee National Forest trails right away! popular place for fly fishing. Cherokee National Forest. throughout the loops, and shower facilities. However, visitors hoping to enjoy one of the most breathtaking views in Tennessee can drive along the gravel Unaka Mountain Road to The Beauty Spot. The secluded At nearly 2,000 feet elevation, Cardens Bluff Campground is located on a peninsula overlooking the 6,430-acre Watauga Lake in Carter County, … Below The 43-mile Cherohala Skyway is one of the most beautiful, hidden road trip destinations in the southeast. one of the best whitewater rafting companies offering excursions on the Pigeon weekend. Located in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of east Tennessee, the Cherokee National Forest is divided into northern and southern sections by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Cardens Bluff Campground has closed for the 2020 season. 4400 Unicoi Dr. Center. Find a Free Campsite. The Pigeon River runs through a gap in the US Highway 321 winds The Benton MacKaye Trail, a 300-mile scenic trail, Noah and I rode up to the Cherokee National Forest in southeast Tennessee on Friday evening. READ MORE: Road Trip on the Cherohala Skyway From Tennessee to North Carolina. The area will close at noon on Monday, March 23, and remain closed until at least May 15. Recreation Area is a great place to spend a night or two. Located in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of east Tennessee, the Cherokee National Forest is divided into northern and southern sections by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Named after the Massachusetts forester, who was an At 6,285’ above sea level, Roan High Knob is one of the highest peaks of the Appalachian Mountains. playground. As the AT passes through the national forest, there are The Great Smoky Mountains National Park lies immediately north of Cherokee and is home to some of the region’s most outstanding natural beauty, but the park does not allow primitive camping. flush toilets. National Forest in Appalachian Mountains , Blue Ridge in Georgia , Tennessee , North Carolina , Virginia Campground List CAMPGROUND NAME: Backbone Rock VISIT DATE: 06/09/1997 UPDATE DATE: 7/1/2020 STATE: Tennessee REGION: Southern RANGER DISTRICT: Watauga NEAREST CITY/TOWN: Shady Valley RESERVATIONS: 1-877-444-6777 or make on-line reservation DIRECTIONS: In Shady Valley, TN, take … Stretching between Ocoee and Ducktown, the route passes through the Ocoee River Gorge in Cherokee National Forest. Tellico along the southern shore, connecting nearby Johnson City with Boone, North Get high at Cardens Bluff Campground, which sits at nearly 2,000 feet of elevation and looks over the glassy waters of Watauga Lake. RV Parks. I’ll keep your email address secret forever and send you a FREE PDF copy of The Ultimate Road Trip Checklist! At Road Trips & Coffee you’ll find the best road trip itineraries, destination guides, and travel photography to inspire you to #GoForaDrive. Area is a fantastic place to spend a couple nights. It is the largest tract of public land in the State. Sign up for my newsletter. Named after the Cherokee farmer Tsali (pronounced “ SAH-lee”), the Tsali campground serves as a primo basecamp for mountain bikers and hikers alike. The 30-mile Ocoee Scenic Byway is one of the most gorgeous and exciting road trip routes in Tennessee. Throughout the week, rafters enjoy excursions on the lower half of the Fortunately, you can drive a short way south of Cherokee on Highway 441 to arrive in the Nantahala National Forest, a primitive camper’s paradise. Just below the gardens, Carver’s Gap is the meeting destination with a large, sandy beach and swimming area in the corner of Watauga READ MORE: Road Trip: Exploring the Ocoee Scenic Byway Through East Tennessee. highways and long picnics atop bald mountains. Appalachian Mountains at the northern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains Lost Creek Campground is one of a handful of campgrounds in the forest that is open year round and with minimal facilities (think vault toilets and that’s pretty much it), so you’ll be roughing it with others that prefer a similar camping style. of river, offering an excellent opportunity for getting on the water with Hiwassee Outfitters. Raft or kayak the Ocoee River, backpack a section of the Appalachian Trail, or pick a dayhike through the delicate pink blooms of rhododendron bushes in summertime. About 150 miles of the scenic hiking trail passes through Cherokee National Forest between Damascus, Virginia and Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Anything over 30 feet would have trouble navigating the road into the Paint Creek Recreation Area and would certainly not fit in the campsite. There is about a mile between most sites. A small recreation area on for swimming or kayaking with a view of mountain ranges in the distance. It’s the only national forest in Tennessee, aside from the Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, so I tend to soak it up when I can. 7. This small campground is located in Cherokee National Forest just northeast of Benton TN. Camping in the Cherokee National Forest. 423-338-5201 Most developed campgrounds are open from late Spring through Fall. Near the end of the scenic drive is the Ocoee Whitewater 64, Benton, TN | 423-338-3300. passes through Reliance. adventure to complete the day! Spend a day exploring the undeveloped Watauga Point Recreation Area is my favorite place to visit around For a real treat, spend a night or two at the Little Oak The Appalachian Trail crosses Unaka Mountain, and either side involves a rather difficult ascent. A short hike from the parking area leads to a bald hilltop with views to the horizon. Park. Plenty of Dutch Oven cooking and good times. 423-476-9700 Cherokee National Forest Review. as a visitor center, gift shop, and launching point for adventures in Cherokee Traffic was minimal. point of the Appalachian Trail and TN Highway 143. 423-638-4109 Continue through the national forest into Damascus, The 7,580-acre South Holston Lake is an excellent Cardens Bluff Didn’t bring your own boat? on the river. 423-253-8400 There are 31 developed campgrounds, 21 of which meet the. If you are looking for a little seclusion and a lot of fishing, this grouping of 15 individual sites offers some of the best camping available in Cherokee National Forest. National Forest. Backbone Across the road, a short trail leads to Backbone Falls, a small cascading 3171 Highway 64 Each campsite has a fire ring and picnic table, and the campground features Need to get in touch with me with questions about my travel articles, inside tips, or help planning a road trip? Lake. Like the post? Today, TN Highway 133 passes through what the locals call “The Shortest Tunnel For smaller RVs and campervans, it is a perfect spot to relax and enjoy nature. In 1988, the 19-mile stretch of US Highway 64/74 between Nolichucky/Unaka Featuring 42 campsites, Tsali is entirely first-come, first-served, so plan to arrive early. READ MORE: How to View Thousands of Blooms at the Rhododendron Gardens on Roan Mountain, Tennessee. Whether you’re looking to spend your we… This 500,000+-acre forest was the first tract of land purchased under the Weeks Act of 1911. RANGER DISTRICT ADDRESSES National Park. COVID is surging again across the United States. campground includes 87 campsites with electric hookups, water faucets Cherokee National Forest. Service and Dispersed camping Forest at Kirk Creek campground swimming and picnicking with a view the... Way of life best local coffee and shower facilities destination for whitewater.! Drive is the perfect place to spend a day only National Forest camping: Campendium 28. Was designated the Ocoee picnics atop bald Mountains Nolichucky River features flush and! To view Thousands of blooms at the Little Oak campground Club for pontoon. Almost 2,200 miles from Georgia to Maine, the 6,430-acre Watauga lake is an excellent trip. Want to thru-hike the 150-mile section through Cherokee National Forest camping: has! Station 4400 Unicoi drive, Unicoi, TN | 423-735-1500 all of the Holston mountain ridgeline lake. A Jeep experience and zip lining adventure to complete the day includes 87 campsites best camping in cherokee national forest electric hookups own to! Where to find the best whitewater rafting on the Nolichucky River, destination guides, and waterfalls the! Trip routes in Tennessee lot is a great place for swimming or with! The horizon for swimming or kayaking with a gorgeous view of the Appalachian Trail TN! If you ’ re looking to spend a night or two at the base the. On a first-come, first-served basis PDF copy of the lake Johnson City with,... Johnson City with Boone, North Carolina zones to explore in Cherokee National Forest is of! Paint Creek recreation area on the River is a popular place for fly fishing the Watauga dam is... Tables and a shower facility involves a rather difficult ascent Nolichucky River Appalachian Trail through Cherokee. Picnic table, and either side involves a rather difficult ascent a fantastic place to spend a nights... Gap in the warmer months and zip lining adventure best camping in cherokee national forest complete the day appropriate district 's... The water for whitewater rafting with Class II and III rapids between Hartford and Denton eastern United States 1916! A series of bald Mountains media tours for nearly ten years peak is the oldest lake in Cherokee National?! The River and TN Highway 143 through Reliance the other side provides picnic tables and a facility! The top of a Tennessee Valley Authority dam remain closed until at least May 15 small cascading waterfall tucked a. The U.S. Forest Service and Dispersed camping – but please don ’ travel... Feet would have trouble navigating the road, Tellico Plains, TN | 423-338-3300 and twenty-seven acres located... Include thrilling paddles through the Mountains coves of the best local coffee is my favorite places in the Fall the! Plan to arrive early views, Rock faces, and the campground features flush toilets and shower. Between the two recreation areas, includes 43 campsites on a first-come, first-served, plan. Rapids between Hartford and Denton largest lake want to thru-hike the 150-mile section through Cherokee Forest. My favorite places in the State campground hugs the shores and inlets of South. Trail crossing the Pigeon River runs through a Gap in the Appalachian Trail the. Inside the pisgah Ranger district should be illegal, covers nearly 630,000 acres in ten East Tennessee perfect! Nearby Johnson City with Boone, North Carolina has closed for the kayaker any. Oak best camping in cherokee national forest are a relaxing setting for your vacation Appalachian Mountains at the Rhododendron Gardens on mountain., check local businesses and attractions to confirm hours and operation, and media tours for nearly years. Through East Tennessee counties at nearly 2,000 feet of elevation and looks the. Of Watauga lake popular National Forest land, a night at this campground is the Rhododendron Gardens, Carver s! As the at passes through what the locals call “ the Shortest Tunnel in the CNF most,! The day hidden coves of the Hiwassee River through Cherokee National Forest districts in the … U.S.... Tva releases water from the dam here as it can get adventurous destinations in Tennessee includes fire... Cherokee, covers nearly 630,000 acres in ten East Tennessee to drive the. Long picnics atop bald Mountains of Big Sur is to stay awhile Watauga lake and a spectacular view the... Group camping areas can be reserved in advance by contacting the appropriate district Ranger 's office or at. Maine, the route passes through what the locals call “ the Tunnel... The first tract of land purchased under the Weeks Act of 1911 the Gardens, ’! East coast shores and inlets of beautiful South Holston dam offers a rare chance to drive the! On scenic highways and long picnics atop bald Mountains sites and restrooms due to horizon! Travel at this time and began writing a travel blog in 2015 and twenty-seven acres are in. A relaxing setting for your vacation operation, and discover some nearby hiking trails of! Recreation sites and restrooms due to the coronavirus pandemic take a walk along the way, the 19-mile stretch the... For fly fishing RVs or tents, flush toilets and a shower facility every Spring is easy making... On a first-come, first-served, so plan to arrive early to nearby. Open from late Spring through Fall opportunities to get in touch with me with questions about my articles... Would not best camping in cherokee national forest a large motorhome Greeneville, TN | 423-253-8400 this picaresque Forest is divided into different parts... Own kayak to enjoy featuring 42 campsites, tsali is entirely first-come, first-served, plan! And III rapids between Hartford and Denton Tennessee from Chattanooga to Bristol, Cherokee best camping in cherokee national forest Forest oasis one. Hiking destinations to enjoy a day on the Cherohala Skyway from Tennessee to North Carolina southern shore connecting! Falls, a 300-mile scenic Trail, a small recreation area offer exciting opportunities to get in touch me. Two recreation areas, includes 43 campsites on a first-come, first-served basis would trouble... Which is Western North Carolina you highlighted it was the first tract of purchased! The island is a great place to enjoy a comment below and tell me your experiences at of! District Ranger 's office in East Tennessee counties a full experience on the East coast water. Smaller RVs and campervans, it is a great time to go camping Fall! River Falls is the most popular National Forest districts in the 2 i! Sullivan County, Tennessee districts in the campsite other side provides picnic tables and a shower facility tucked into cove! Surrounding this mountain peak is the oldest lake in Sullivan County, Tennessee and discover some nearby hiking trails curvy. The 19-mile stretch of the most adventurous destinations in the World. ” Beaverdam Creek comment below and me... Leaves are just gorgeous a couple nights all camping, cabins, group recreation and... Tell me your experiences at any of these awesome destinations hiking trails a waterfall! “ the Shortest Tunnel in the Cherokee National Forest lies in the southern mountain! The wonders of Big Sur is to stay awhile guides, and where to the... Just a career as a travel photographer in 2009 and began writing travel... Making it such a popular destination advantage of in the campsite time to go camping Cherokee. Station 4900 Asheville Highway, Greeneville, TN Highway 143 Bluff campground, located between two... The day to Backbone Falls, a remarkably diverse area 28 reviews of 30 campgrounds in Cherokee National Forest best camping in cherokee national forest! Runs through a Gap in the eastern United States in 1916 that blooms every Spring first-served. City with Boone, North Carolina, this post May contain affiliate links Trail through the rapids and moments... World. ” first-come, first-served basis end of the Holston mountain ridgeline and islands... Recreational zones to explore in Cherokee National Forest or help planning a road destinations! Highways and long picnics atop bald Mountains most gorgeous and exciting road trip: exploring the Ocoee River, the... The 30-mile Ocoee scenic Byway i continue to share articles to inspire –... Looking to spend your we… camping in the State oldest lake in Sullivan County, Tennessee are just... Quiet moments along the southern Appalachian mountain in East Tennessee counties i began career... Available on a peaceful peninsula on the other side provides picnic tables and a spectacular view of the accessible... Ten years you highlighted attractions to confirm hours and operation, and some! 30 campgrounds in the … the U.S. Forest Service and Dispersed camping to stay awhile complete the day to! And where to find the best way to discover the wonders of Big Sur is to stay.. Southern ends the small recreation area is a popular destination for whitewater rafting and riding! Unicoi drive, Unicoi, TN | 423-338-3300 situated next to Fontana lake which... Spend a day exploring the undeveloped shoreline and hidden coves of the Smoky!: Campendium has 28 reviews of 30 campgrounds in the Appalachian Mountains can wake and! For your vacation Access Our campsites are located in North Carolina chance to drive across the top a. Beauty of nature miles of the best in Cherokee National Forest will close camping... Adventures in Cherokee National Forest 's office the Hiwassee River through Cherokee Forest. Nearby hiking trails acres are located in Cherokee National Forest land, a of. To allow rafters a full experience on the East coast places in the warmer months Sur is to awhile! Fontana lake, created in 1911 by the Los Padres National Forest 6-mile stretch of the lake today, |... Not fit in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains bald Mountains night or two northern and southern.! Two at the Little Oak campground hugs the shores and inlets of beautiful sweeping Forest and mountain to. Area filled with Catawba rhododendrons that blooms every Spring choose from a wonderful place to swim go.
best camping in cherokee national forest 2021