Explore the most popular camping trails near Cherokee with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

backpacking
3 days ago

Started at Clingmans Dome and made our way down to site #68. We camped there for the night because it was just too beautiful and peaceful not to camp by a waterfall. The next morning we made our way down to #69. The creek crossings were not bad except for the very last one to reach the camp spot. Due to heavy rain that day the water was way up and stomach deep. I ended up bending one of my treks while navigating across. However, we conquered it and came out alive. Definitely not for beginners when the creek is up like that in my opinion, but definitely a peaceful sleep for those who do it!

The park ranger called it a green tunnel and green tunnel it was. Moderate traffic especially for MDW. Took a side path to a cascade.

on Flat Creek Trail

hiking
21 days ago

Be aware that hiking this trail during rainy months make crossing the river very dicey. We hiked in just fine, but it began to rain on our hike down, and the small, shallow river turned in to a rager. We had to figure out another way to get across by holding on to branches in powerful waist deep water to prevent being swept down the river. Adventure! But definitely a little scary.
Aside from that the hike was amazing. The forest is so gorgeous -- lost of snails, centipedes and mushrooms. I would suggest going when there is very little chance of rain.

hiking
25 days ago

This is one of my most favorite hikes in the smokies. The terrain is manageable if hailed from the top down. Through the whole trail from start to finish you will experience the vast wild flowers that the smokies are famous for. The trail was in excellent shape given the amount of rain it had a week before. Very few campers in the area.

beautiful trail and area. It does have some steep grades but is well worth the walk.

hiking
2 months ago

We hiked half of this trail last July. We looked at a map before heading in but 3 hrs and some bee stings later we weren't sure exactly how long the rest of the trail would be. Realizing, now, we should have kept going. We had our 5 kids and they really toughed this one out! (ages 4-14) This trail was beautiful and quite unique. Lots of flowers, mushrooms, and other beautiful foliage. If you're looking for a view, this is not the place to find one. If you want a nice hike while surrounded by nature's best, this is the one!

hiking
2 months ago

Hard walk getting there up all the way great views from tower easy on way back.

This trail is beautiful and offers amazing views! We did it yesterday, February 27 and there were still some ice sickles and icy patches on the ground as we got higher. I feel the rating of “moderate” is fair as it is relatively short, but has some rugged terrain where you’ll be navigating over rocks and tree roots.

Very challenging! Very beautiful! I want to do it again someday!!!

A decent weekend loop. The Forney Creek trail portion follows an old logging road, which is a little uninspiring if you’re backpacking. The creeks are pretty, and the terrain is nicely varied from the high ridge-top hiking along the AT to the hollows along Jonas Creek.

Difficult and steep but able to ride 100% of it on not only a full suspension MTB but on a rigid cyclocross bike. Great 3.5 climb from the Fire Mountain trail head if you incorporate Spearfinger for the first half.

We loved this trail...we obtained a backcountry camping permit and stayed at halfway point....will definately do it again

I thought this was a beautiful trail. Did out and back and also went to the cemetery. Was about 6.5 miles total. I’d like to do this hike in the winter.

Very pretty and a good workout.

My wife, (not a strong hiker) two daughters under the age of 3.5 (being carried in packs) and I. attempted hiking this trail. The Trail began fine with a moderately steep slope and a well manicured trail. The trail crosses a couple of mountain bike paths so be on the lookout. At about half way or a little more the trail begins to narrow and you come across a misleading sign that suggests that you are about 4/5ths of the way to the top. The trail narrows two more times and became to much for my wife and I to maneuver comfortably with the packs on. She had lots of reservations about the trail and by the point at which we turned back even I was uncomfortable going forward. Probably would have had a better experience without the girls.

Sweet views from top of the tower

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful, hobbit like forest with several creek crossings. We had no problem crossing although some parts of the trail were quite muddy.

Great trail. Love having the water along side the trail. A little rocky in spots but worth it. Peaceful and not a lot of traffic.

Easy, relaxing hike with lots of shade and a pretty view

Nice little hike with a beautiful view at the end near the campground. The app says this is a moderately strenuous trail but the strenuous parts are at either end with the trail being easy in the middle. I completed the 5 miles in just under 1.5 hours which I would rate as an easy hike. Either way, not too shabby for a guy in his mid-forties!

This is a great trail to hike even if not experienced. There are creeks to cross but rocks that you can use so you don't have to get wet feet. There are also a few muddy areas but again, there are rocks or logs to use. Saw a momma bear and two cubs today!! I would suggest not using the directions from this app that connect to your mapping app on phone to lead you to the trail because they got us really lost. The written directions above are best.

Beautiful trail with great views and a nice walk through the forest. Saw 2 bear cubs and a Mama bear on the trail yesterday, August 4th. What a site to see!! We will definitely be back.

fishing
10 months ago

This trail was extremely difficult with a backpack straight up for over an hour then straight down for another 45 or so. The you tube video that guy made for fishing was awesome but he neglected to mention how tough it was coming in and out. I can't say I caught a ton of fish because I didn't so that would've made the trip much, much better. The area was beautiful and river was gold water, never seen anything like it.

What a great trail! if you are looking for a good trail to prepare yourself for a multiweek trail hike, this is it. I would not advice anyone with minimal or intermediate experience to take on this trail. this trail will really test your limits and your gear to the fullist. Before you go out also check to see how much rainfall has come down the past week. the creeks you will cross will swell up even with the slightest rain. (You cross about 18 creeks in all I believe). Once you get to the last 8 miles your gonna be climbing straight up the whole time. stay hydrated and energized. all in all it was a awesome trail and very rewarding once you finish!

I want to give this loop 5 stars. We got rained on for 48 hours straight. The creeks swelled and made the crossings damn near impassible. Brutal boots off conditions in fast water. This hike tested my limits and my gear.

If they're calling for rain, do yourself a favor and reschedule this one.

hiking
Thursday, May 18, 2017

If you're looking for views as a payoff, this isn't your hike. Having said that, it's a beautiful hike. Very shaded, lots of flowers, and a nice cemetery at the end of the loop. Also, you very much get a workout if you do the loop (something like 1100 ft in a little over a mile)

Sunday, April 30, 2017

This was my first hike ever in the Smokies and the trek uphill was quite long and strenuous. Almost 2 hrs up and about 1 hr back down. Maybe I'm a little out of shape? Probably. It was a beautiful hike though. There's partial views of the mountains once you reach the top.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Beautiful in the spring. Easy short hike.

Bradley Fork is one of our go to trails for a nice relaxing stroll along the creek year round. Chasteen Creek trail is a nice scenic hike as well, though once past the cascades it increases upwards to a pretty good workout before getting to Hughes Ridge Trail.

hiking
Thursday, April 13, 2017

pretty good incline. no views.

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