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.

Recent News


50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act 1964-2014

Graphic of 50 Year Wilderness Act Logo

50 YEARS OF AMERICAN WILDERNESS: On September 3, 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Wilderness Act. This historic bill established the National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS) and set aside an initial 9.1 million acres of wildlands for the use and benefit of the American people....more

Summer Safety Sheet 2014

Summer 2014 Outdoor Safety Tips when visiting the Cherokee NF.

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Tennessee Wilderness Celebration

Graphic of 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act Logo

An event celebrating 50 years of People, Place and Promise on Wednesday, September 3rd, 6:00pm - 9:00pm

Ginseng Harvesting in the Cherokee NF

Image of American Ginseng

The 2014 ginseng collecting season will be from September 16 through September 30.  The Forest Service will issue a total of 40 permits, ea...


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

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