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.

Took Forney Creek down, camp 70 was a great spot! The hike up to sliders bald and mount buckly was difficult but so worth it. The views are amazing. Great 2 days in the smokies!

Made a 3-night, 4-day loop of it.
Day 1 - Left from Clingman's Dome and stayed first night at #68. Pretty steep down with a few water crossings. Two sites to chose from at #68, both decent and right on the river.
Day 2 - Several river crossings, some waist high water and a little worrisome, but overall a beautiful hike. Stayed at #70.
Day 3 - Hiked up Jonas Creek Trail, to Welch Ridge to stay at Silers Bald shelter. Up-hill the whole way and makes for a long hike, but pretty good views the last few miles.
Day 4 - Hiked the AT out back to CD.

Decent hike, lots of roots and a few rocks. You are hiking along a ridge yet don’t have many views. Along the way you’ll find a lot of backpacker’s “pit stops”. I agree, you should continue onto the Charlie Bunion trail if you have the time.

Hiked this trail on 9/2/18. The trails themselves were well kept and well marked. It is a steady climb to the top and the trail gets pretty narrow at times. It took us about an hour or so to get to the top at a fairly steady clip (2 hrs exactly round trip), so for those who have small kids, pets, or prefer to hike slowly will easily take 2.5 to 3.5 hours total. Unfortunately, the firetower itself was fenced in and locked up behind barbed wire so we were unable to actually climb up it. It actually looked like there wasn't even a platform to stand on once you got to the top anyway. All in all, lotsa hard work for little payoff. Admittedly, it would have been way more fun on a mountain bike. The trails appeared perfect for that.

It was a good trail, but I would not recommend it for anyone’s first time backpacking or camping. It had rained the few days prior to me and my gf doing it and the creeks were so full and crossing them was pretty dangerous. But overall a great trip. Plan for it to take 2-2.5 full days to complete the trail if it has rained recently.

I'm not sure what you have seen if you stop so early. Probably worth doing something else if you can't walk more than this, and if you can walk more, probably worth going to charlie bunion

The trail is well maintained, so expect to do this fairly quickly for a 21 miler (did it in about 8hours). It was cloudy and rainy, so that might have affected my experience, but I felt it was all that great. The best view points are at the begining, doing the whole loop is a bit excessive.

The trail is well maintained, so expect to do this fairly quickly for a 21 miler. I was cloudy and rainy, so that might have affected my experience, but I felt it was all that great. The best view points are at the begining, doing the whole loop is a bit excessive.

hiking
2 months ago

Made a 3-night, 4-day loop of it.
Day 1 - Left from Clingman's Dome and stayed first night at #68. Pretty steep down with a few water crossings. Two sites to chose from at #68, both decent and right on the river.
Day 2 - Several river crossings, some waist high water and a little worrisome, but overall a beautiful hike. Stayed at #70.
Day 3 - Hiked up Jonas Creek Trail, to Welch Ridge to stay at Silers Bald shelter. Up-hill the whole way and makes for a long hike, but pretty good views the last few miles.
Day 4 - Hiked the AT out back to CD.

hiking
2 months ago

great walk! saw a huge bear about 15-20 feet away from me, we smelled each other and guessed what's the other's next move.. ended up alive to tell ;) was amazingly thrilling!

hiking
2 months ago

Main trail muddy in many spots. Side trail to waterfall at .7 m from Heintooga Rd, once again open, is very steep, muddy and very slippery. Do not recommend.

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked to camp 53. Quiet walk with some steep switchbacks near the trailhead. The camp was settled right on the creek.

hiking
2 months ago

Decent trail with nice variety of flat, ascents, and descents. You cross the creek a few times. Perfect for my wife and I.

hiking
2 months ago

We were camping near by at Balsam Mountain Campground. Great hike, but true to the other reviews, the trail was a little muddy and the creek crossing were sketchy in high water. We also couldn’t find the waterfall.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked this trail in a little over two hours, just like the sign at the trailhead says. The trail to the tower runs through biking trails that are a part of the Fire Mountain system, but it’s marked all the way up. Look out for bikers and other hikers as the trail intersects several times. We brought the dog with us and she had a great time, too. The trail itself is clearly marked, relatively clear and bramble-free, and winds through the woods. It does get a little narrow at some places. Go on clear days!! We made the mistake of going right before a storm rolled in and being on a mountain during lightning and high winds is scary! The towers are cool and the view of Cherokee is amazing.

backpacking
3 months 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!

hiking
3 months ago

Approach up Beech Gap is steep. Balsam Mt Trail is long and pleasant to the AT.

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
3 months 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
4 months ago

Easy walk and a little muddy.

hiking
4 months 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.

hiking
5 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
5 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.

Load More