Welcome to Cherokee National Forest
Hiding in plain sight along the eastern border of Tennessee, but overshadowed by Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this 650,000-acre national forest is chock-full of outdoor adventures and stunning scenery. Here, white-water rafters careen through class IV rapids on wild rivers, mountain bikers tear through the trees on singletrack trails, and day hikers stop and smell the wildflowers after rock-hopping across burbling streams. As you'll discover, the southern Appalachian Mountains aren't as sleepy as they appear. Divided into northern and southern sections, which are separated by the national park, the forest is home to four ranger districts and 15 recreational zones. The Ocoee District is the best known of the districts, impressing visitors with a scenic byway, two vast trail networks and top-tier rafting on the Ocoee River. Across the forest, you'll find waterfalls, wildflowers, picnic areas and scenic overlooks. Many attractions are convenient to both eastern Tennessee and western North Carolina.