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Hiking and Walking

The Chalet Inn

Contact: George and Hanneke Ware
285 Lone Oak Drive
Dillsboro, NC 28725
Toll Free 800-789-8024
Phone 828-586-0251
The Chalet Inn A B&B perfect for romance, outdoor adventure, or relaxation. Closest B&B to Cherokee, Harrah's & Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Fireplace/Jacuzzi suites, large or economy rooms all with private baths & balconies with views, A/C. 22 Mountain Acres, Hike our trails, relax in a hammock for two, then watch a sunset over Clingmans Dome. Trails are open to the public from 10am - 5pm. Lawn Games, Firepit, Fishpond. Free WiFi, CD Player. Swimming Pool, Sauna, Tennis & Fitness Center privileges. Secluded, not isolated. Minutes to Blue Ridge Parkway, Rafting, Mountain Biking, Golf, Antiquing and quaint shops. Children welcome with the following restrictions: 8 & Older mid-June to mid-August. All other times children must be 12 or older.

Chalet Suites

Contact: George & Hanneke Ware
285 Lone Oak Dr
Whittier, NC 28789
Toll Free 800-789-8024
Phone 828-586-0251
Chalet Suites Self-contained Suites on 22 private forested mountain acres just minutes from downtown Cherokee, Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Blue Ridge Parkway. Hike our trails, relax in a hammock for two, then watch a sunset over Clingmans Dome. Grill out at our picnic area; roast marshmallows beside the fish pond. Exceptional rates, outstanding amenities: private balcony/patio with rockers, steam showers and jacuzzi for 2, fireplace, king/queen bed, refrigerator, coffee maker, free full breakfast in your suite. Free WiFi, AppleTV with free NetFlix and ESPN. Handicap accessible, A/C or fresh mountain air. Spa services. Secluded, not isolated. Adults only. Trails are open to the public from 10am - 5pm.

Fontana Village Resort

Hwy 28 North
Fontana Dam, NC 28733
Toll Free 800-849-2258
Fontana Village Resort Fontana Village has a wide range of accommodations, including rooms in the intimate settings of The Lodge, suites, 1-4 bedroom cabins, as well as RV & tent camping on the beautiful Cheoah Lake. Amenities & activities include: restaurants, shopping, mountain biking, hiking, marina, boat rentals, charters and superb fishing on beautiful Fontana Lake. Two swimming pools, one with a lazy river, putt-putt & disc golf, ghost tours, massage & fitness center, summer music series, firework displays July 4th, Labor Day & New Years Eve. Abundant conference space to accommodate groups of all sizes. Fontana Village Resort, a year round destination resort, set amidst the pristine beauty of the Nantahala Forest and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Located near the Dragon on Highway 28 North, at Fontana Dam, NC. Check our website at www.fontanavillage.com or call 800-849-2258 for further information.

800 Miles of Trails

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park has more than 800 miles of hiking trails ranging from rugged back-country trails to relatively easy walks in the woods.

The closest trail to Cherokee is the Oconaluftee River Trail, a short 1.5 mile trail connecting the GSMNP Visitor Center with Cherokee, near the Saunooke Village area. It is not a loop, so you can begin your walk from either end of the trail. It's an easy walk, and the only area trail where dogs and bicycles are allowed.

Drive out Big Cove Road 5.1 miles from Saunooke Village and take a short uphill trail to the beautiful Mingo Falls. Difficulty: moderate. 600 yards round trip.

Both the Oconaluftee River Trail and Mingo Falls are on the Cherokee map on this site.

Download PDF Map of Park trails

The National Park has several self-guided nature trails in Swain County: Spruce-Fir — 0.5 mile. It begins on Clingmans Dome Road. This walk introduces you to the conifer forests that grow only on the high peaks this far south in the eastern U.S.

The AT stretches through Swain County from south of the Nantahala Gorge; across Fontana Dam and then follows the highest ridges of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park past Clingmans Dome and Newfound Gap on its way to Maine. You can access the trail at Wesser in the Nantahala Gorge, Fontana Dam, Newfound Gap, and at Clingmans Dome. A popular section of the trail is from Newfound Gap to Charlie's Bunion, which passes through a spruce and fir forest with spectacular vistas. The 8-mile-round-trip walk has an elevation gain of 980 feet.

0.75 mile. It begins at Smokemont Campground. The walk shows examples of human impact on the land, such as logging and farming; and Balsam Mountain: -- 0.75 mile. It begins at Balsam Mountain Campground. See how nature has reclaimed a once-logged northern hardwood forest.

The Kephart Prong Trail ('prong' means a bend in the river) is a four mile round trip moderate hike that crosses the Oconaluftee River six times, with narrow footbridges at each crossing. The trail itself is an old road-bed with broken and exposed pavement at the beginning of the trail, which travels through a diverse hardwood forest to a backcountry shelter.

(Trails: Deep Creek to Loop Trail to Indian Creek and Back to Deep Creek) — 4 miles, easy to moderate. The trail is fairly level except for a one-mile section that crosses the 420-foot Sunkota Ridge (Loop Trail section). The trail passes by two nice waterfalls – Toms Branch Falls and Indian Creek Falls.

(Trails: Deep Creek to Martin's Gap to Sunkota Ridge to Loop Trail to Indian Creek and back to Deep Creek) — Approximately 12 miles, easy to moderate.

14.2 miles, easy to strenuous. For most this is a one-way hike, requiring a second vehicle at the end of the trail. Many choose to walk this trail "down" from Newfound Gap Road.

A vertical rise of 1,820 feet in 2.5 miles from the Deep Creek Campground. There are great views to the south over Deep Creek Valley and Bryson City. For the more adventurous, the Noland Divide Trail connects Deep Creek with Clingmans Dome Road. 11.2 miles one way. This too is a one-way hike for most.

6 miles in and out, easy. From a parking lot near the end of the Bryson City "Road to Nowhere" (Lakeview Drive), Noland Creek trail is an old service road with a gentle grade. Near the three-mile mark you'll see the remnants of an old farm.

Through the tunnel at the end of the Bryson City "Road to Nowhere" (Lakeview Drive), there's the 3-mile Goldmine Loop Trail and the 42-mile Lakeshore Trail, which crosses Forney Creek, Hazel Creek and Eagle Creek on its way to Fontana Dam.