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.


National Forest Seasonal Road Management Schedule

UNICOI, TN – September 2, 2014 ... US Forest Service officials at the Cherokee National Forest recently announced the annual schedule for opening and closing certain roads through May 11, 2015. These roads are located in the northern portion of the Cherokee National Forest (Cherokee Wildlife Management Area) in Cocke, Greene, Washington, Unicoi, Carter, Sullivan and Johnson Counties.

Certain roads in the Cherokee National Forest are systematically closed to motorized vehicle use to help protect wildlife habitat, decrease wildlife disturbance and reduce road maintenance costs.   However, some of these roads are temporarily opened for short periods to provide seasonal public access for various uses including fall color viewing, hunting, and other uses. Roads may be closed earlier than scheduled due to poor road conditions...See Schedule

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.

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Fall Color Report #8

Image of fall color on the Cherokee

November 10, 2014 - The average peak period of fall color in Cherokee National Forest  ranges from mid-late October through early November.

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

Volunteer Opportunities

40 Years Later, 2.5 Million Volunteers and 100 Million Service Hours Valued at $1.2 Billion

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