Sunday, December 4, 2022

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Camping Near Cherokee National Forest

Blue Valley Dispersed Camping

Boondocking Free Campsites and $6 campgrounds along the Tellico River in Cherokee National Forest.

Why you should camp here: Skip the fees and set up your Nantahala basecamp at a primitive site.

  • Reservations accepted: No
  • Best season: Spring, summer, fall
  • Campsite type: Tent, RV, car camping
  • RV hookups:No

Looking to skip the fees? Blue Valley Dispersed Camping offers about 22 dispersed campsites that are available year-round . Located about 30 minutes from Highlands, the Blue Valley area is accessed via NC28S.

Situated near Wilson Lake and several waterfalls, Blue Valley is a good basecamp for anglers, paddlers, and hikers.

While camping in Blue Valley is primitive, you wont be entirely without amenities. Youll find the bare necessities here, which include a campfire ring, picnic table, and a pit toilet.

This campground has a reputation for being one of the cleaner dispersed camping areas so please do your part and pack it in, pack it out.

The 8 Best Camping Spots In The Nantahala National Forest

Nantahala is Cherokee for Land of the Noon Day Sun and yes, this picturesque National Forest is just as enchanting as it sounds.

Take a walk under the thick forest canopy and youll quickly see how Nantahala National Forest earned its name. The forest floor rarely sees sunlight in many areas, which is great news for those looking to find a shady place to set up camp.

Established in 1920, Nantahala National Forest sprawls out along 531,148 acres in North Carolinas southwest region. With district names derived from the Cherokee language, visitors will find Nantahala is as rich in history as it is in habitat.

Plan a trip out to the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest and youll be in the presence of one of the largest stands of old-growth trees found on the east coast. For a more exhilarating experience, take a whitewater rafting ride down the Nantahala River.

Wherever adventure takes you, youll find a handful of campsites scattered throughout the forest along with plenty of dispersed camping options.

Whether youre looking for a relaxing campground where you can fish for trout or a basecamp for a spellbinding ride down the river, youll find it in Nantahala.

Ready to set up camp? Heres our guide to the best camping spots at Nantahala National Forest.

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Best Cherokee National Forest Camping Getaways

Split in two by the Great Smoky Mountains, the Cherokee National Forest is all scenic drives, whitewater rafting, and backcountry trail. The parks many surging rivers are home to plentiful trout and bass, making the park a destination for fishing enthusiasts. Birdwatchers can hope to catch a glimpse of the mourning doves, juncos, indigo buntings, eagles and falcons that cruise the skies. There are eleven wilderness areas in the forest, which protect diverse flora and fauna that make up a rich ecosystem. River gorges, streams, and waterfalls snake through the parks 650,000 acres, providing a rich terrain on which visitors can enjoy a slew of recreational activities, including boating, hiking, horseback riding, and swimming. Book a cabin or treehouse in Tennessees big backyard with this list of unique accommodations in the mountainous region. Get ready for the best Cherokee National Forest camping getaways!

Last minute booking.The accommodations indicated with the icononly allow same-day reservations within strict time limits. Please bear this in mind to guarantee your reservation.

There are no more accommodations that exactly fit your criteria. You can try broadening your search by changing some of the filters or move and zoom-out into the map to show more results.

Enjoy The View Of Flora And Fauna

Mcnabb Creek Group, Cherokee National Forest

Cherokee National Forest has a huge collection of flora and fauna. There are more than 20000 spices of animals and plants. This forest is the home of 43 types of mammals like the black bears, white-tailed deer, otters, raccoons and more. There are more than 154 types of fish, more than 55 amphibian spices, 262 birds etc. A forest safari in the lush green forest is a lifetime experience that a visitor can get here. You can explore the wildlife here too.

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Top 10 Things To Do In Cherokee National Forest

The Cherokee National Forest is a vast and popular area present in the South Appalachian Mountain in East Tennessee. This picaresque forest is divided into different two parts by the popular Great Smoky Mountains, National Park. The picturesque beauty and green forest can offer you a lifetime experience to keep in your heart forever. But, apart from exploring the lush green forest, you can take part in different exciting activities.

This forest is a part of the known USDA Forest Service. This forest is also connected to the many more national forest located in Georgia, North Carolina and Kentucky. Tennessee, the beautiful place is not just the seat of the music of America. It is also a most visited eco-tourism place due to its sea adventure packages. If you are up for a stunning and breathtaking vacation, you sail or fly your way toward the Cherokee National Forest of Tennessee. This is a large forest and you will get a lot of things to explore in the forest. The headquarters of the forest is in Cleveland of Tennessee. You can visit the place during the fall to have the best of experience here.

Ten must have experience in the forest:

The History Of The Forest

The region that is now Cherokee National Forest was once used as grounds for hunting and gathering by the Cherokee Indians, for whom the area is named, until their forced evacuation in 1838. White settlement in the region began in the 1770s, though most people chose to live in the fertile Tennessee River Valley rather than in the difficult, mountainous forest. In the next century, loggers stripped the area nearly bare and then abandoned what was left of the forest, leaving the residents unemployed and with degraded natural resources.

The advent of the official Cherokee National Forest dates roughly back to the Weeks Act in 1911, which gave the federal government the authority to buy and regulate private land for water and timber purposes. A few years later, President Woodrow Wilson bundled up areas of land in the Southern Appalachian Mountains and designated them national forests, and the Tennessee section was officially designated as the Cherokee National Forest in 1936. During this New Deal Era, the Civilian Conservation Corps worked to create infrastructure in the forest, building roads, trails, and facilities, some of which still exist. Most importantly, the CCC labored to rehabilitate the forest, planting hundreds of thousands of seedlings that now make up what we know as Cherokee National Forest.

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Plan A Camping Trip To Cherokee National Forest

Covering over 655,000 acres in East Tennessee, and just 45 minutes away from Kingsport, the Cherokee National Forest is an outdoorsmans playground. However, the forests proximity to the UNESCO-listed Great Smoky Mountains often leaves it as an afterthought. That said, if it were located anywhere else in the South, it would be a definite hot spot. The next time youre in the mood to get outdoors and avoid the crowds, book your trip to Cherokee National Forest.

Were Here To Help During Your Stay

Chilhowee Campground | Benton Falls Trail | Cherokee National Forest

Guests can come sit with us on the store porch for a spell. If you are looking to explore the surrounding Tennessee areas, one of our staff will gladly direct you to the many nearby touring attractions. We often feature horse activities at the Ranch and Guests are welcome to observe. Educational programs can be provided for those interested in a full horse experience.

Were located at the foot of the Cherokee Mountains in the East Tennessee countryside. Lots of wild edibles if you know who to ask such as blueberries, black raspberries, nut trees, and chicory. It stays cooler up here than down in Greeneville, and we get magnificent cool winds. Sometimes when its been raining the clouds will flow over the mountain like water. We also have our fare share of wildlife- plenty of rabbits, the occasional deer, raccoons, foxes, turkeys, killdeer, cardinals, bluebirds, hummingbirds, Canadian geese, various hawks and birds of prey, whippoorwill, doves, swifts, woodpeckers, and many more. We also have free ranging cats, all fixed, spayed, and vaccinated. Also friendly!

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Developed And Primitive Campsites

With thirty developed campsites spread throughout the park, you have plenty of options. Most campsites have level ground for tents and some have showers. However, water availability varies by the campsite, so plan accordingly. If you want to get away from everything, the park does allow primitive camping but make sure to stay 100 feet from water, trails, and developed areas.

State Park Camping Near Cherokee Nc

With Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the north and Nantahala National Forest to the south, the town of Cherokee, North Carolina, has no shortage of opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. For those who would like to stay overnight in a wilderness setting, nearby Gorges State Park has primitive campground facilities. And while Gorges is the only state park with a campground in the Cherokee area, the national park and national forest both offer camping accommodations, as do several privately owned campgrounds.

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Ocoee White Water Center

The White Water Center boasts 2 different swim areas: Mac Point Beach and Parksville Beach.

Mac Point, on Lake Ocoee, features a changing area, sandy beach area, shady picnic area, grills, drinking water, and flush toilets,

Parksville has a grassy beach area with neighboring picnic tables, and vault toilets.

Choose How You Want To Camp

Little Oak Cherokee National Forest

Everybody has their own ideas about what camping should offer, and we have several options available. Those who want to enjoy a traditional camping experience can bring their own tent to pitch on one of our tent pads. Group pads are also available for those who want to pitch larger tents or put multiple tents together. If you dont want to rough it, then you can choose to stay in one of our lovely riverside cabins, or you can drive your own RV into one of our pull-in sites that offer hook-ups for electric, water, and sewer. Our campground near the Cherokee National Forest provides you with a variety of options!

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S For Planning A Cherokee National Forest Camping Trip

Whether youre a camping enthusiasts looking for a new adventure or youre ready to take your family camping for the very first time, you couldnt pick a better spot than Pigeon River Campground. We are perfectly situated right on the border of Cherokee National Forest, so you can expect to enjoy the perfect camping experience. To help you get started, we have put together six steps for planning an unforgettable Cherokee National Forest camping trip:

Who Is Going To Love It

Fisherpeople who want to make a weekend out of their excursion will be happy campers at Lost Creek because of the easy access to excellent fishing at Big Lost Creek.

Campers who prefer solitude, but are looking for a more rustic campground, will be pleased with Lost Creek. Theres no need to hike through the backcountry to camp here, but you arent going to sacrifice any of that genuine feeling of being out in the wilderness, either.

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What Makes It Great

One of the best parts about this campground is the accessibility to outdoor activities within the forest, like the 300-mile Benton MacKaye Trail that runs right on the other side of the creek from the campground. Theres also biking and swimming in the forest, but those who like to toss a line into the water will be especially pleased. The trout fishing on Big Lost Creek is excellent, especially in the spring and summer. If you want to spend some time in the forest with nothing but your fishing pole and a good book, camping at Lost Creek might be exactly what youre looking for.

Lost Creek is simple, secluded, and beautifula wonderful home base for exploring the magnificent Cherokee National Forest.

Where Exactly Is Cherokee National Forest

Camping on Indian Creek in the Cherokee National Forest, TN

Cherokee National Forest essentially makes up the entire eastern border of Tennessee from Chattanooga to Bristol. Headquartered in Cleveland, Tenn., the forest is divided into a northern and a southern section by Great Smoky Mountains National Park. While Cherokee is contained entirely within the Volunteer State, it adjoins national forest land in the surrounding states of Georgia, Virginia and North Carolina. Its the only national forest in Tennessee and is also the states largest tract of public land.

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Places For Epic Adventures In Cherokee National Forest In East Tennessee

These destinations will guarantee epic adventures when you visit Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee.

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my Affiliate Disclosure here.

Stretching from Chattanooga to Bristol, Cherokee NationalForest is one of the most adventurous destinations in Tennessee. Whitewaterrafting and horseback riding are options, but so are peaceful drives on scenichighways and long picnics atop bald mountains. But where should you visit inthis sizeable national forest?

Ive been exploring Cherokee National Forests on road trips, weekend getaways, and media tours for nearly ten years. I havent come close to doing or seeing it all, and thats precisely what I love about this national forest. Its 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.

Here are some places for epic adventures in CherokeeNational Forest. Leave me a comment below and tell me your experiences at anyof these awesome destinations.

No. 1

What People Are Saying

This was a very beautiful drive. It had a lot of overlooks and the trees were very beautiful. We also rode over to Joyce Kilmer Forest. This was a very nice hike and was amazing to see all the older trees. I would advise to take a bathroom break before the trip across the mountain.

Road trip

Incredible drive through the Cherokee National Forest. Lots of hiking, waterfalls and mountain streams. Areas of the skyway are rather curvy, so beware. Some like to speed through this area either in road rallys or on motorcycle. Have seen several severe accidents.A MUST visit for all the beauty!

Unbelievable beauty

We were surprised at how beautiful this route is. Sadly, our trip was cut short from annual undergrowth burning. We will definitely come back this way.

Gorgeous views

Nice smooth road thats a lot of fun with beautiful sights. Theres plenty of pull offs for photos and small hikes and it makes a really nice scenic drive.

Awesome road and view

We were in town to view the fall foliage. We hit it just right. This drive is magnificent. Several viewing sights along the way. Take advantage of all if possible.

Beautiful

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Camping At Cherokee National Forest

When you book a camper rental in Carter County, youll be glad to find out that there is no shortage of campgrounds in Cherokee National Forest. There are over 25 campgrounds available.

Indian Boundary Recreation Area is one of the most popular campgrounds here. Located adjacent to the 96- acre Indian Boundary Lake, this campground has 87 sites. Amenities offered include electric hookups, a dumping station, restrooms, and water spigots.

Located adjacent to McKay Lake Chilhowie Campground has 78 campsites. Most sites have electric hookups. Other amenities include a dump station, restrooms, and showers. Whether you prefer camping with an RV or pitching a tent, Parksville Lake Campground will accommodate you. Forty-one sites are available, of which 17 sites offer electric hookups. Campground amenities include showers, a dump station, and potable water.

Perched on the shores of the 7,580-acre Holston Lake Little Oak Campground has 72 sites divided into four loops. Amenities offered include a bathhouse, a dump station, and vault toilets.

Rv Parks In Cherokee North Carolina

Campgrounds and group recreation sites in Cherokee ...

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