Found on the southern end of the Appalachian Mountains, east of Tennessee, the Cherokee National Forest is a protected area managed by the US Forest Service. It is accessible via I-81 from Knoxville, and close to the eastern end of the border.
Things to Do
- Go hiking - there are more than 600 miles of trails that you and your family can enjoy, with 150 miles under the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, and the John Muir Trail.
- Drive through the forest - if your family is not too into physical outdoorsy activities, then a drive will do wonders! This is also perfect if it starts to rain or if the little ones are already tired from the day's events but still want to see more.
- Visit the visitor centers - there are a few situated in the area, some of them have various exhibits about the flora and fauna that you can see within the area.
- Go camping - nature at its finest, it is a great way to immerse the kids in the outdoors where they can breathe and smell the fresh air.
- Fish - there are many species of fish that you can catch in this area, such as bass & trout.
- Try out some recreational sports - water skiing, wind surfing, and boating around Watauga Lake.
- Go on a side trip to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park - the Cherokee National Forest is also adjacent to other forests in Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia, making the overall green area big and spread out.
Cherokee National Forest Insider Tips
- Check their website for announcements - there may be some areas that are shut down because of the weather, or alerts that you should know about.