Local Area Attractions
Call ahead and make your reservations early so you can enjoy some of the great activities that the Cherokee area has to offer all year long. Our Tours Office can help you book most of the attractions in the area and if you buy the ticket from us, it will include the shuttle as well. Box Lunches available for your hikes, train rides or a picnic.
Great Smoky National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway
Set in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, and in the heart of Cherokee tribal country, the Cherokee KOA is located 6 miles from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and only 4 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway--named one of the most scenic drives in the nation..
Great Smoky Mountains Railway
The Great Smoky Mountains Railway provides a full season of over 500 tourist railway round trip excursions. The history of this rail line dates back to the 1840s when the railroad created passage through this scenic rural mountain land. Passengers ride in comfortable, reconditioned coaches, crown coaches, club cars, dining cars, cabooses, and open cars which are ideal for viewing and picture taking. All excursions take you through the beautiful Smoky Mountains foothills of North Carolina with views of forests, countrysides, rivers, and small towns.
Museum of the Cherokee Indian
At the Museum of the Cherokee Indian explore the exciting history of the Cherokee people. The story of the Cherokee unfolds before your eyes through the magic of electronics, audiovisual displays and priceless artifacts, some more than 10,000 years old. The museum is exciting, entertaining and educational for the young and old.
"Unto These Hills" Outdoor Drama
Americas most popular outdoor drama, "Unto These Hills," is the tragic and triumphant story of the Cherokee. Set against the backdrop of the Great Smoky Mountains, the drama is presented under the stars on three stages in the beautiful Mountainside Theatre. Since opening on July 1, 1950, "Unto These Hills" has been seen by over five million people. Cherokee descendants play important roles in the drama and in the many dances, highlighted by the colorful and world-famous Eagle Dance. The emotional impact of this tragic and yet triumphant story is supported by a strong musical score, recently recomposed to offer a richer, fuller orchestral sound.
Local Area Activities
Centrally located in the Great Smoky Mountains and just one mile from the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, Cherokee KOA makes an excellent base camp as you explore the rich cultural tapestry of the area. The Cherokee KOA is also located close to downtown, Cherokee, where you can shop local artisans or play at Harrah's Cherokee Casino. Its also just a one hour through the Great Smoky National Park to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, or an hour East to Asheville and the Biltmore House and Garden. During your stay, enjoy attractions and events. Visit the Recreation Outpost at Cherokee KOA for tickets to local attractions.
Visit the Recreation Outpost at Cherokee KOA for tickets to:
• Horseback riding
• Tubing rentals
• Zipline canopy tours
• Whitewater rafting
• The Museum of the Cherokee Indian
• Oconaluftee Indian Village
• Reenactment of the Trail of Tears
• and more!
Shuttle provided for FREE with purchase of any ticket!
The Raven Fork River flows along one side of the campground with miles of excellent stream fishing. If you prefer pond fishing, you'll find three Tribal-owned trout ponds framing the west boundary of Cherokee KOA. All are stocked twice weekly (tribal license required). There's also a new area on the river that is strictly for catch-and-release fly fishing (additional license required).
Fishing at Cherokee Indian Reservation does not require a state fishing license, but you do need to purchase a daily tribal fishing license and a special additional license if you are going to the Catch and Release only sections. Fishing is permitted on the Reservation from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.
Whitewater Rafting on the Tuckasegee River
Whitewater rafting is great fun with the group from Cherokee KOA! The bus leaves Cherokee KOA each day at 12:30 p.m. Sign up at the Recreation Outpost in advance to be assured of a seat on the bus and the raft. The rapids are class 1 and 2 with a class 3 at the end. The Forest Service has a minimum weight limit for children of 60 pounds. Life vests are provided. Wear shorts or bathing suit, t-shirt and tennis shoes. A change of clothes and towel are recommended for after your trip. Changing facilities and KOA Lockers for keys and watches are available.
Tubing on the River
Wind down the Raven Fork river on a 2 to 3 hour float while relaxing and looking at natures wonders. Free shuttle to tubing location 3.5 miles from camp available with rental of tube at the Cherokee KOA campground.
Nantahala Gorge Zipline Canopy Tours
Enjoy a soaring and gliding experience naturally fueled by a gradual elevation change at Nantahala Gorge Canopy Tours (NGCT). More than a zip line ride, NGCT takes you through multiple ecosystems, past hemlocks, into hardwoods, and through a deciduous forest packed with native flowering plants such as mountain laurel, dogwood, rhododendron, giant Frazier magnolia, rare umbrella magnolia, silver bells and many more. Book your tickets at the Cherokee KOA Recreation Outpost.
Take in the beautiful Great Smokes on horseback! The morning trip includes a trail ride in the National Park that takes you up to a small waterfall. The afternoon trip takes a different hour-long route into the National Park. All horseback rides are escorted. Weight limit for horseback rides is 200 pounds.
Local Area EventsListing Calendar
The Blueberry Festival at the Cherokee Indian Fairgrounds is August 10, featuring good food and tasty blueberry recipes.
Cherokee's End of Summer Trout Fishing Tournament
$11 entry fee - available everywhere Cherokee fishing permits are sold
$20,000 in tagged fish in the rivers on the Cherokee Reservation (excluding the 2.2 miles of catch and release waters) Hundreds of specially tagged fish will be stocked in the Cherokee public fishing waters. When a tagged fish is caught it can be redeemed for cash prizes ranging from $20 to $500 based on the color of the tag. Redemption location and times to be announced. Open to all ages and for all legal fishing methods. Registration necessary to redeem cash prize. Visit www.fishcherokee.com for details
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS NOT THE CHEROKEE KOA EVENT
The Rumble in the Rhododendron Fly Fishing Tournament
$225 entry fee
$10,000 in prize money awarded to 1st place team ($5,000), 2nd place team ($3,000) and 3rd place team ($2,000) This two person team fly fishing competition is held on the 2.2 miles of Trophy, Catch-and-Release water on the Cherokee Reservation. A modified fips mouche format will be used with a tag out system being incorporated as only one team member may fish at a time. Fishing sessions are three hours long. Registration fee includes tournament registration for two people, competitor swag, several meals during the competition and more.
Please visit www.fishcherokee.com for details
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS IS NOT THE CHEROKEE KOA EVENT