Travel to Tennessee

Travel to Tennessee

CHEROKEE NATIONAL FOREST

625,000 acres. Made up of tracts both north and south of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this National Forest stretches along the Tennessee-North Carolina border from Georgia to Virginia. The mountainous region includes rugged terrain.

There are five major rivers, a number of lakes, and many streams and waterfalls. Forests consist of hardwoods as well as conifers, and there’s rhododendron and mountain laurel. Black bear, white-tailed deer, and wild boar are among the wildlife.

Designated wilderness areas here include the 15,000-acre Citico Wilderness, the 5,000-acre Big Frog Wilderness, the 3,900-acre Bald River Gorge Wilderness, plus several smaller wilderness areas.

Activities: Hiking and backpacking are possible on over 640 miles of trails, including more than 130 miles of the Appalachian Trail (see entry page 264), and also the 16-mile John Muir National Recreation Trail. Difficulty ranges from easy to very strenuous.

The five rivers have stretches of white-water, and are suitable for canoeing, kayaking, and rafting. A number of local outfitters offer river trips.

Some trails are open to horseback riding. There are eight miles of designated bike trails, and mountain biking is possible on old roads and some other trails. Fishing is available along rivers, streams, and lakes. Hunting is permitted in season.

Camping Regulations: Camping and campfires are freely allowed throughout this National Forest, except near public use areas or where posted otherwise. No permits are required.

For Further Information: Cherokee National Forest, P.O. Box 2010, 2800 North Ocoee Street, Cleveland, TN 37320; (615)476-9700.

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