Can I Camp Anywhere in Cherokee National Forest?

Cherokee National Forest is a stunningly beautiful and expansive natural wonder in the Appalachian Mountains of East Tennessee. It’s known for its ancient trees, lush valleys, and sweeping mountain views. It’s also a great place to camp, offering a wide variety of sites for both primitive and RV camping.

The Cherokee National Forest has over 640,000 acres of land available to explore and enjoy. The forest is divided into two sections – North and South – with the North section being the larger of the two at nearly 400,000 acres. There are four main campgrounds located in the Cherokee National Forest: Big Junction Campground, Chilhowee Campground, Big Fat Gap Campground, and Unaka Mountain Campground.

All four are open year-round and offer different amenities based on location.

Big Junction is located in the North section of the forest and offers both primitive sites as well as RV hookups with full hookups including water, electric, and sewer connections. Chilhowee Campground is also located in the North section of the forest and offers primitive sites only; however there are showers available with a fee. Big Fat Gap Campground is located in both sections of the forest but offers primitive sites only with no shower facilities available. Unaka Mountain Campground is located in the South section of Cherokee National Forest and offers both RV hookups with full hookups as well as primitive sites.

In addition to these four main campgrounds, there are also several dispersed camping areas throughout Cherokee National Forest that allow you to camp “off-the-grid” style – away from any developed sites or facilities – for free or a small fee depending on location.

All dispersed camping areas must be accessed by foot or horseback only, so you should plan accordingly if you choose this option. Dispersed camping does not have any water or restroom facilities available so you will need to bring your own supplies; however it does provide an excellent opportunity for more secluded camping experiences deep within nature.

In conclusion, while there are four main campgrounds available in Cherokee National Forest with various amenities offered depending on location, there are also several dispersed camping areas available throughout the forest that can offer an even more remote experience if desired. So whether you’re looking for a developed site complete with full hookups or something more off-the-grid, yes – you can definitely camp anywhere in Cherokee National Forest!

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Chris Powell