Cherokee National Forest

The Cherokee National Forest is your destination for outdoor recreation. Enjoy a scenic drive through the mountains, the pursuit of wildlife, the thrill of whitewater, a night under the stars, or solitude on a backcountry trail. 

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. The 650,000-acre forest is the largest tract of public land in Tennessee and adjoins other national forests in Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia. 

Visitors come to explore the more than 600 miles of trails including 150 miles of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, hundreds of miles of cold water streams, 7 whitewater rivers, 3 large lakes managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority, 11 congressionally designated Wilderness areas, 30 developed campgrounds, 45 developed day-use sites, and the abundant populations of wildlife.  The national forest provides habitat for 43 species of mammals, 154 species of fish, 55 species of amphibians, and 262 species of birds. 

Enjoy your visit.  Please do your part to conserve these exceptional places.

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Latitude: 35.362855 Longitude: -84.294087 Elevation: 866 ft

Recreational Opportunities

There are fifteen recreation zones to explore across the Cherokee National Forest. From Big Frog Mountain to Watauga Lake, each recreation zone offers unique opportunities, activities, and experiences.

Seasons Accessible




How to Get There

Visit the "Maps and Publications" section on the website:!ut/p/c4/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gjAwhwtDDw9_AI8zPwhQoY6BdkOyoCAPkATlA!/?ss=110804&navtype=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&cid=FSE_003771&navid=360000000000000&pnavid=null&position=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&ttype=main&pname=Cherokee National Forest- Maps & Publications

The Cherokee National Forest is located in Eastern Tennessee and stretches from Chattanooga to Bristol along the North Carolina border. The 650,000-acre forest is the largest tract of public land in Tennessee.  It lies in the heart of the Southern Appalachian mountain range, one of the world's most diverse areas.


Drive up to Rocky Top in the CNF in Cocke county for spectacular views of the French Broad River Gorge.

Michael Sledjeski, 2/23/2016

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