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.

Recent News


Fall Color Report No. 3 - Oct. 9, 2015

Image of fall colors for report 3

The average peak period of fall color in Cherokee National Forest  ranges from mid-late October through early November.

 Northern Ranger Districts (Watauga & Unaka) - last two weeks of October.

 Southern Ranger Districts (Tellico, Ocoee) – Last week of October and first week of November.


Outdoor Safety Fall & Winter 2015-2016

Visiting the Great Outdoors -- 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


Cherokee Hotshots

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.