Recreation

Tellico River

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

Choose an activity of interest in the left menu under “Recreation” 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 Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Appalachian National Scenic Trail Open to Visitor The Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.) is open. Trail shelters located in the Cherokee National Forest are available. Hikers are advised to bring a personal tent and face coverings. Shelters might not be frequently maintained at all locations. Dispersed camping is also available. Not all privies are open or maintained. Guidance is available on the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) website for trip planning, hiking safety and COVID-19 precautions. (updated 4/21/2021)
Baby Falls Day Use Site Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Backbone Rock Recreation Area Open to Visitor Backbone Rock Pavilion is currently open.  The campground is open for the 2021 season.  
Big Bend Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Big Oak Cove Campground Open to Visitor This location is scheduled to re-open May 4, 2021. We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Birch Branch Campground Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Bubbling Springs Range Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Cardens Bluff Campground Open to Visitor Cardens Bluff Campground is open for the 2021 season.  Local managers are committed to the health and safety of recreational visitors and our staff. We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Chestoa Recreation Area Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Childers Creek Trailhead Open to Visitor Open year-round.
Chilhowee Recreation Area Open to Visitor Day Use Area is open year-round, with flush bathrooms closed during the winter. The Campground is open starting April 16, 2021. The Group Camp is available for reservations beginning April 23, 2021. We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Conasauga River Blue Hole Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Dam Creek Walk-In Campground and Picnic Area Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Davis Branch Campground Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Dennis Cove Recreation Area Open to Visitor Dennis Cove Campground is open for the 2021 season.  Local managers are committed to the health and safety of recreational visitors and our staff. We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Donley Cabin Closed to Visitor Closed until further notice, due to damage to the bridge crossing North River, caused by flooding during the Easter Weekend storms.
Dudley Falls   
East Parksville Boat Launch Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Hiwassee River Picnic Area Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Holder Cove Campground Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Holly Flats Open to Visitor This location is scheduled to re-open May 4, 2021. We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Hood Mountain Overlook Open to Visitor Open year-round.
Horse Creek Recreation Area Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Indian Boundary Overflow Campground Open to Visitor We appreciate your patience and understanding as we all work together to minimize the impacts and spread of COVID-19.
Indian Boundary Recreation Area Open to Visitor This location is scheduled to re-open April 22, 2021. Local managers are committed to the health and safety of recreational visitors and our staff. We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Jacobs Creek Recreation Area Open to Visitor Jacobs Creek Campground and Day-Use Area is open for the 2021 season.  Most of the campsites are now available for advanced reservations.  http://www.recreation.gov or call (877) 444-6777 to make a campsite reservation.  
Jacobs Creek Shooting Range Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Jake Best Campground Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Kings Slough Boat Launch Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Limestone Cove Day Use Area Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Little Milligan Boat Launch Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Little Oak Campground Open to Visitor Little Oak Campground is open for the 2021 season.  We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Lost Corral Horse Camp Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Lost Creek Campground Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Mac Point Beach Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
McNabb Group Camp Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
North River Campground Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
North River Checking Station Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Ocoee Whitewater Center Closed to Visitor Recreation area is open, but the Center is closed until further notice to safeguard the health of employees and the public. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we all work together to minimize the impacts and spread of COVID-19.
Old Forge Recreation Area Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates. Old Forge Recreation Area is planned to reopen on March 18th, 2021.
Overlook Picnic Area   
Paint Creek Campground Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Paint Creek Corridor   
Paint Creek Picnic Area   
Parksville Boat Launch Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Parksville Lake Campground Open to Visitor Parksville RV Campground will be open March 19, 2021. The Group Campground will be open April 25, 2021. We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Pheasant Fields and TWRA Tellico Fish Hatchery Open to Visitor We appreciate your patience and understanding as we all work together to minimize the impacts and spread of COVID-19.
Pinnacle Mountain Lookout    Open year-round.
Pond Mountain Shooting Range Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Quinn Springs Pavilion Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Rat Branch Boat Launch Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Rock Creek Recreation Area Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Rough Ridge Campground Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Round Knob Picnic Area Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Round Mountain Campground Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Shook Branch Beach Open to Visitor Shook Branch Swim Area is open for the 2021 season.  To safeguard the health of employees and the public, we appreciate your patience and understanding as we all work together to minimize the impacts and spread of COVID-19.  
Sink Mountain Boat Ramp Closed to Visitor Road to boat launch is closed due to storm damage.
Spivey Cove Campground Open to Visitor This location is scheduled to re-open May 4, 2021. We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Spring Creek Shooting Range Open to Visitor We appreciate your patience and understanding as we all work together to minimize the impacts and spread of COVID-19.
State Line Campground Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Sylco Campground Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
The Laurels Picnic Area Open to Visitor The Pavilions are open.  
Thunder Rock Campground Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Towee Creek Launch Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Tumbling Creek Campground Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Walnut Grove Picnic Area Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Watauga Point Picnic Area Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.
Young Branch Campground Open to Visitor We are changing our operations to follow guidelines from our agency and the CDC regarding COVID-19, closely monitoring the situation and responding to current conditions. Please continue to monitor this page for status updates.

Spotlights

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

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. 

Quick Links

Areas & Activities
[Image] of bear in front of bear proof garbage can

Safety in Bear Country

 



https://www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/cherokee/recreation