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Drive over to Cherokee

Indianapolis...
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Drive over to Cherokee

Will be staying in Gatlinburg for a few days and am considering driving over the mountain to see Cherokee. Is it worth it?

north ga
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1. Re: Drive over to Cherokee

Yes, it's worth it. That drive through the Great Smoky Mtn's Park is one of the best parts of visiting that area.

Nashville, TN
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2. Re: Drive over to Cherokee

Hey indy4192,

You didn't say when you were visiting, so assuming it's within a few weeks, so here are my suggestions.

Be sure to stop and check out Newfound Gap and Clingmans Dome. When on your way over to Cherokee, be sure to visit the Mingus Mill. Also, check out the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and the adjacent Mountain Farm Museum.

While in Cherokee I enjoyed the Cherokee Museum.

Enjoy!

Boston...
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3. Re: Drive over to Cherokee

You could also consider a hike while at Newfound Gap. The trail to Charlie's Bunion isn't easy (nine miles with a good bit of elevation gain), but the view are great. A few miles closer is the Jumpoff, with equally impressive views. At the least you can do a short walk to the first intersection, where you can take a right and be greeted by amazing views to the south that you can enjoy without the hordes at Newfound Gap.

I don't care for Cherokee myself, but Mingus Mill and Oconaluftee are worth checking out. The outdoor farm museum is cool, as well as the short river-side walk starting at the visitor center.

Just the drive in itself is specacular.

Kristian

Glen Carbon IL
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4. Re: Drive over to Cherokee

The drive is great, stop at Clingmans Dome on your way to Cherokee, then get on The Blue Ridge Parkway at Cherokee. There are alot of scenic pull-offs (there's one as beautiful as Clingmans Dome about an hour out at the 1st visitors center). That drive on the BRP was the best part of our trip.

Cottage Hills...
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5. Re: Drive over to Cherokee

indy: The best part of driving to Cherokee is the view of the mountains before you get there. As far a Cherokee itself, it really is not much to see. Granted, it is a lot larger now than it was years ago, but I was not impressed. If you gamble, there is a casino.

As far as visiting the BRP, you will pass the entrance to the parkway on the way to Cherokee, so you will have to back up to access, as it is near the Oconoluftee Visitors Center. (TN 441 & the BRP)

Also, the BRP, really goes a long way. So, I would recommend, if you decide to travese part of the parkway, that you note your mileage at the start and drive a distance and time it so as to not allow yourself to be drawn to the scenery, which is really abundantly breathtaking, and lose track of time and distance.

Good luck on your venture.

Illinois
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6. Re: Drive over to Cherokee

indy...no one mentioned stopping at Mingo Falls when you go to Cherokee....after the Ocanluftee visitors center...take the 2nd, left onto Big Cove Road...at the first stop sign, turn left...drive 4.5 miles to Mingo Falls Campground..and begin the trail to the falls. You will have to climb about 159 steps up to the falls....but after that, the trail widens a bit and is flat....the trail ends at the wooden bridge over Mingo Creek where you view the falls. Hopefully there will be some rain in that area so the falls will be full.....if so, they will be beautiful....about 120 ft. falls.

alabama
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7. Re: Drive over to Cherokee

so agree with everyone,the views are wonderful,it is a must

Sevierville...
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8. Re: Drive over to Cherokee

I agree with everyone too - I have always said you haven't seen the Smokey Mountains if you don't go up over the pass to Cherokee. We also love the Mingus Mill and the farm museum and also got on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We just drove about 8 miles on the Parkway and the scenery was incredible. We turned around at one of the turn off places and went back. Cherokee has such a beautiful park and great place for a picnic. We love playing in that river but may be a little to cold for this time of year. :) You don't say if you have children along but if you do, planning all these stops will help with the whining about the ziggy zaggy roads :) - that is if you have children along and they complain. Enjoy!!

Indianapolis...
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9. Re: Drive over to Cherokee

Did the dome a few years back, and this time taking Dad along and at 89, while in very good health, hiking really isn't much of an option. Dad wants to see what has happened to Cherokee and what the town is like. We use to travel that way heading to Florida back in the 70's and dad wants to see what it is like now. I will also have my best bud and pal Eli (german shepard/mallmutt mix) with us on the trip. Will be there Nov. 6-9 and looking at taking a day to just see things.

unionville tenn.
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10. Re: Drive over to Cherokee

You should still take him to the Clingman's Dome parking area. We were there recently and the view is absolutely beautiful.