Recreation


Discover an Area by Activity

Select an activity to find an area to visit.

Discover an Area by Activity

Tellico River

From Big Frog Mountain to Watauga Lake, fifteen different areas offer unique opportunities, activities and experiences across the Cherokee National Forest.

Select an Activity of interest above or begin exploring the Recreation Map below. Click on the symbols to view recreation opportunities featured throughout the National Forest.

Enjoy your visit to the Cherokee National Forest.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Recreation Conditions Report

Area Name Status Area Conditions
Apalachia Powerhouse Launch None
Appalachian National Scenic Trail Open
Baby Falls Day Use Site Open
Backbone Rock Recreation Area Open Backbone Rock Recreation Area is open for the 2022 season.  
Big Bend None
Big Oak Cove Campground Open
Birch Branch Campground Open
Bubbling Springs Range Open
Cardens Bluff Campground Open Cardens Bluff Campground is open.  
Chestoa Recreation Area Open
Childers Creek Trailhead None Open year-round.
Chilhowee Recreation Area Open 5/24/22 - All sites and loops of Chilhowee Campground are now open.
Conasauga River Blue Hole Open
Dam Creek Walk-In Campground and Picnic Area Open
Davis Branch Campground Open
Dennis Cove Recreation Area Open Dennis Cove Campground is open for the 2022 season. 
Donley Cabin Closed Closed until further notice, due to damage to the bridge crossing North River, caused by flooding during the Easter Weekend storms.
Dudley Falls None
East Parksville Boat Launch None
Hiwassee River Picnic Area None
Holder Cove Campground Open
Holly Flats Open
Hood Mountain Overlook None Open year-round.
Horse Creek Recreation Area Open
Indian Boundary Overflow Campground Open
Indian Boundary Recreation Area Open
Jacobs Creek Recreation Area Open Most of the campsites are now available for advanced reservations.  Visit Recreation.gov or call (877) 444-6777 to make a campsite reservation.  
Jacobs Creek Shooting Range Open
Jake Best Campground Open
Kings Slough Boat Launch Open
Limestone Cove Day Use Area Open
Little Milligan Boat Launch Open
Little Oak Campground Open All loops in Little Oak Campground are open for the 2022 season.  
Lost Corral Horse Camp Open
Lost Creek Campground Open
Mac Point Beach Open
McNabb Group Camp Open
North River Campground Open
North River Checking Station Open
Ocoee Whitewater Center Open 5/25/22 - The Cherokee National Forest, along with Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), are working on reopening portions of the Ocoee Whitewater Center. Recreation areas, including all trails, and the lower lot will be opened to the public on Friday, May 27.  Tennessee Valley Authority’s strobe and siren warning system were damaged during the fire and is no longer functional. TVA is working on restoring the warning system, but it could take several more weeks to complete. TVA has installed signage in the area alerting users of the potential for rapidly rising water. In the absence of the warning system, visitors to the area should exercise extreme caution if entering the river channel. Large amounts of water could be discharged at any time and without any warning.
Old Forge Recreation Area Open
Overlook Picnic Area None
Paint Creek Campground Open
Paint Creek Corridor None
Paint Creek Picnic Area None
Parksville Boat Launch None
Parksville Lake Campground Open 5/27/22 - Parksville RV Campground is open and fully functional. Parksville Group Campground is closed until further notice.
Pheasant Fields and TWRA Tellico Fish Hatchery Open
Pinnacle Mountain Lookout None Open year-round.
Pond Mountain Shooting Range Open
Quinn Springs Pavilion Open
Rat Branch Boat Launch Open
Rock Creek Recreation Area Open
Rough Ridge Campground Open
Round Knob Picnic Area Open
Round Mountain Campground Open
Shook Branch Beach Open Shook Branch Swim Area has closed for the 2021 season.  It will re-open 5/9/22.  
Sink Mountain Boat Ramp Closed Road to boat launch is closed due to storm damage.
Spivey Cove Campground Open
Spring Creek Shooting Range Open
State Line Campground Open
The Laurels Picnic Area Open The Laurels Picnic Area Pavilions is open for the 2022 season.      
Thunder Rock Campground Open
Towee Creek Launch None
Tumbling Creek Campground Open
Walnut Grove Picnic Area Open
Watauga Point Picnic Area Open Watauga Point Recreation Area is open for reservations.  The bathrooms are open for the 2022 season. 
Young Branch Campground Open

Spotlights

Dennis Cove Recreation Area

Dennis Cove Recreation Area is a secluded campground and picnic area alongside Laurel Fork Creek in Carter County. It includes a remote developed campground, popular with those seeking a rustic experience. The altitude, creekside location and lush forest surroundings make Dennis Cove particularly desirable during hot, summer months. 

Indian Boundary Recreation Area

View of Indian Boundary Recreation Area in Cherokee National Forest

If you are looking for a base camp to explore the vicinity or a destination campground with modern facilities and a family atmosphere, try Indian Boundary Recreation Area (IBRA), accessed off Cherohala Skyway.

Over 87 campsites are equipped with firerings, picnic tables, lantern posts and electrical hookups, with easy access to drinking water, showers, flush toilet facilities and an on-site dump station.

Day use facilities include a 96-acre lake, swim beach, small boat launch, accessible fishing pier and 3.6 mile hike/bike trail around the lake. Did you forget something? Don't sweat it! The Indian Boundary Outpost can meet your camping supply needs ranging from bread to firewood, as well as a souvenir for you to remember your trip to IBRA.

Indian Boundary Recreation Area Map

Indian Boundary Recreation Area Guide

Little Oak Campground

Looking to camp near a large lake? Try Little Oak Recreation Area, located on a peninsula along the eastern shore of South Holston Lake in Sullivan County. In this campground, most of the 68 universally-accessible sites have lake views and many have direct access. Little Oak is a designated Watchable Wildlife Area with two interpretive trails. A concrete boat ramp provides a popular launch site into South Holston Lake, and is for use by registered campers. Many of the campsites are reservable by going to Recreation.gov or by calling 1-877-444-6777 for your convenience.

Little Oak Campground Map

Quick Links

Recreation Areas