Cherokee National Forest
Cherokee National Forest
5
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Breathtakingly beautiful mountainous forest: great for hiking.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

5.0
200 reviews
Excellent
166
Very good
26
Average
6
Poor
2
Terrible
0

Itinerant_Foodies
Greensboro, NC632 contributions
Oct 2020
Gorgeous views while driving the Cherohala Skyway and plenty of hiking opportunities as well as opportunities for viewing various water falls.
We stayed at the Indian Boundary Campground, about 16 miles from Tellico Plains. It's in a great location around a beautiful lake, a large campground area that is well-managed, and a hiking trail around the lake that offers many great views. Note that the campground has electric connections but not water at the sites themselves. However, there are a multitude of water spigots around the campground loops making it easy to get more water if you run dry. There are also plentiful trash receptacles around the campground making it easy to keep the area clean.
Written November 1, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

TheAppalachainRogue
Benton, TN361 contributions
If you visit the Ocoee Gorge then driving up to Chilhowee campground is a must. Beside camping it has a day use beach area with many trails in the park. One of the best trails is to Benton Falls. Its a 60 plus foot fall, narrow at the top but fans out pretty wide down at the base, its a moderate and easy hike of three miles and a wonderful day trip.

The drive up to the campground has several overlooks of Parksville Lake and the surrounding mountains like Big Frog, Cohuttas and Sugarloaf.. A nice side bar if you are treking through the Ocoee area...
Written June 5, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

John M
Jacksonville Beach, FL112 contributions
This is a beautiful and well maintained primitive campground on Lost Creek. It is near Reliance, Tn and a 7 mile drive on gravel road from highway 30. The creek runs right along the campsites that have picnic tables, fire pits, lantern poles, garbage receptacles and vaulted toilets, as usual BYOTP. You can hike on the opposite side of the creek which is the Benton MacKaye trail. It is quit a scenic hike along the creek. Highly recommended
Written May 19, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Audra F
1 contribution
Aug 2023
Beautiful campground- bathroom is in need of updating and wasn't supplied with toliet paper and soap during our weekend stay. Also, the temporary host Tory was not a welcoming, friendly person. Quite the opposite- it seemed he was constantly trying to find things to complain about and tried to intimidate members of our party by claiming to be LEO. He is not LEO. He complained about dogs barking occasionally during the daytime. He doesn't just ask you politely to address the issue he walks up on your site and lingers and won't leave. He definitely seems to be on a power trip. Not sure why. We were able to talk with a Park Ranger and she was very friendly and listened to our concerns. We are not partiers nor were we being obnoxious and loud. We were doing all the things you expect to see while camping. Talking with friends, playing card games, eating, walking your dog, all very average activities. This is NOT the job for this guy. He is not chill and he is not friendly and helpful. Instead of making people want to come back and stay at the campground, despite it's beauty, you will want to leave and never come back.

Make sure to try and find out about the host. I have never had a negative experience at campgrounds with the hosts. But man this one was for the books.
Written August 7, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sunshine_Amy
Amherst, MA8 contributions
Aug 2018 • Family
In 2017 my family traveled across country (North to South) to view the solar eclipse, camping in national and state parks along the way. Little Oak--this unknown campground in Tennessee-- was by far our favorite spot! This campground has no listing here on Trip Advisor, so I'll do my best with a little write up here, as it is a part of Cherokee National Park.

The water of South Holsten Lake is a stunning, clear turquoise. The contrast against the red clay banks is truly breathtaking! My pictures don't do the color justice!

Along the shore are countless flat "skipping stones." These are not really stones; just breakable discs of clay. But they are perfect for skipping! Natural entertainment at its best. :)

You can learn more about the campground, book your site, and see some other pictures at recreation dot gov. So I won't get into all of the details here. But I will mention a few essential things to know:

1) The campground has bathrooms and showers, but no significant electricity or other amenities. To get ice for your cooler, you literally have to drive a half hour out of the national park to the nearest gas station. The place is REMOTE.

2) Don't rely only on GPS to get here. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS given on the recreation dot gov website where you book the campground. (Our GPS decided that another entrance off the main road would do just as well, and we soon found ourselves on an unpaved extension of a named road that was unpassable.)

3) The view of and access to the water is a major appeal of this campground! One thing to know is that most sites require climbing down and back up a drop off of about **three feet** to get down to the shore of the water. (The soil has eroded right up to the tree roots in many places.) As nimble folks in our 40's, we had no problem, and our kids didn't either, but such a drop off would not work for everyone.

4) If water access is important to you, I can name 5 sites with more reasonable access to the water: Site 56, and 68-71. They each had a drop off of about a foot when we saw the campground in 2017. Sites 70 and 71 were my top pics if I were to visit again.
Written December 30, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Patricia L
Tullahoma, TN38 contributions
Sep 2013 • Family
Five of us (two from Chattanooga and three from out of town) headed over to the Ocoee River to the Olympic kayaking venue to watch the river rafting, and we took a picnic lunch with us. The picnic was the highlight of the day. Just below the main headquarters building of the Ocoee Whitewater Center, there is a bridge that you can drive across, then drive a gravel trail through the woods along side of the river. All along are picnic tables with grills tucked underneath the dense forest canopy. You can park right at your table for easy transfer of your fixin's. We made sandwiches with chips, fruit and drinks (though we did forget plates), and had a grand time chatting and enjoying the pleasant day. Bear-proof garbage cans are conveniently located, and a restroom is nearby. Since this was built for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, there are more amenities that you would normally expect in a forested picnic area. The area was spotless too. Good job, US Forest Service!

Take a tablecloth for a neater table since the trees shed on them. And if it has been raining (as it had the day before we arrived), take something waterproof to sit on or you will find your backside a wee bit damp when you stand up. I would also suggest a light jacket if the temperature is below 80 since it can be a lot cooler under the trees if it is breezy.
Written September 23, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

himtall
Johnson City, TN40 contributions
May 2015 • Friends
My adult son and I spent two nights at this campground, our first time in this area. The campground caters mainly to RVs, and you can reserve sites in advance. Our first night, a Thursday, found all but three or four sites taken; Friday night saw every spot filled. Still, it was quiet at night. The bath house was clean, and there was HOT WATER for the showers!! The campground is located near many attractions; we were most interested in hikes, and there are several to choose from nearby. We were excited to be there at the peak of the flaming azaleas, and also enjoyed seeing some early mountain laurel, and other species of wildflowers. I would be happy to return to this spot for more camping.
Written May 15, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

lange1
Coker Creek, TN479 contributions
Jun 2016 • Couples
We live on the edge of the Cherokee National Forest - it is one of the most beautiful places we have ever ridden. IF you like motorcycles this is an area you must visit. I am saddened however at the amount of litter people leave. Such a wonderful place should not be soiled by inconsiderate people.
Written June 2, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

roydogs
Townsend, TN12 contributions
Oct 2015 • Couples
Somebody needs a geography lesson. Townsend is most definitely NOT in the Cherokee National Forest. It is at one entrance to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The "date" of my visit is pure fiction, since you can't visit Townsend in the Cherokee National Forest!
Written March 16, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gary H
Cleveland, TN3 contributions
Jul 2014 • Family
This forest park is such a beautiful place that we moved just outside of it. Within the park lies the Ocoee river which was made famous by it's use in the world olympics. In season, rafting draws people from both near and far to this river that boasts of it's class 4 & 5 rapids. The river flows into the large lake Ocoee which is surounded by tree covered mountains; one of the most beautiful and peaceful places you could ever visit. Cabins are available for rent in different sizes.
We actually had a family reunion in one of them. It was perfect.
On the north side of the lake is Big Frog mountain. The view from it's top is so far reaching that it was used as a lookout point in the civil war. There is a large camping site at it's peak that can accommodate RV's and campers with all the expected facilities. There is a smaller lake here where you can both fish or swim at a beach that is perfect for swimmers of all ages. A two mile hike will take you to a waterfall that you will want to see. Go in a group, there have been bear sightings. Within ten miles from the forest you can go glidlng and zipline riding. Bring extra money to do these things. It's not cheap. One hour north of Cherokee Forst is Bald River Falls as seen in the photo below.
Cherokee is about 30 miles northeast of Chattanooga. It has a world class aquarium, riverfront park, riverboat rides, numerous theatres and restaurants.
We've used this area as our vacation destination for many years and still find it pleasurable.
Written November 6, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Cherokee National Forest - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Cherokee National Forest




Cherokee National Forest Information

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Cherokee National Forest Photos

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