The Cherokee National Forest is located in eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina.
Where is this Forest?


Welcome to the 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.

Begin planning your visit by selecting "Recreation" in the left menu. 

Cherokee National Forest Vicinity Map

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. 

Vicinity map of Cherokee National Forest with legend.

Cherokee National ForestGreat Smoky Mountains National ParkCherokee National ForestFrancis Marion-Sumter National ForestChattahoochee-Oconee National ForestNantahala National ForestPisgah National ForestDanial Boone National ForestGeorge Washington-Jefferson National Forest

 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.


Forest Service Seeks Input on Travel Analysis

Graphic of USFS logo

We need your input and information  to help us better manage  the Cherokee National Forest  travel system.   We are in the process  of identifying roads  likely needed for safe and efficient travel and for the protection, management, and use of the national forest.

Outdoor Fall and Winter Safety 2014-15

Each year approximately 2 million people visit the 656,000 acre Cherokee National Forest. This area offers a variety of recreation opportunities from hiking, hunting and camping to fishing,  picnicking and mountain biking.

To ensure that your visit to the great outdoors is enjoyable and memorable always put safety first!  Before you participate in any outdoor activity think about the basic rules of safety that apply.

View More Features


Snorkeling In The Cherokee NF

Snood and snorkel

Guided snorkeling programs are designed for organized groups of 12-20 people, ages 12+.  Photos...

Brook Trout Restoration

Graphic showing trout release

In east Tennessee the Appalachian Mountain range has approximately 625 miles of cold water (trout) streams. Most of these...more


Cherokee Hotshots

Enhanced Cherokee Hotshot Logo

The Cherokee Hotshots are a highly trained Type One Wildland Fire Suppression crew that is hosted by the Cherokee National Forest in East Tennessee.

Resource Advisory Committee Members Sought

Image of Log Rural School

The U.S. Forest Service is seeking individuals to serve on a Resource Advisory Committee (RAC) for the Cherokee National Forest...