A couple days exploring Cherokee, Pisgah and Nantahala Nat'l Forest

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TerryD

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Last year we did a road trip that included a couple days in DC then camping on the Outer Banks. This year, we are talking about spending a couple days knocking around Cherokee, Pisgah, and Nantahala Nat'l Forests followed by a few nights in a hotel in Gatlinburg.

I've got a few maps with tracks others have done in that area and I think it will be a pretty good time. Hoping to do some dispersed camping as opposed to camp grounds. I've never spent any time in this area so we're going in completely blind. I wondered if anyone had any good campsites they would reccomend or any cool places to check out like water falls, swimming holes or the like.

My vehicle is fairly capable and by that time I hope to be lifted and have my winch put in but I'm not looking for super challenging roads to run with a single rig with family in tow.

Thanks guys!
 
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rmerron

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The Cherokee NF around the Ocoee River is very nice. Not far from Chatannoga. Mild roads and some wild camping avilible. We are going next weekend. Make sure you have a MVUM with you. Shows roads and where you can camp. Have fun!
 
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justjames

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The Cherokee NF around the Ocoee River is very nice. Not far from Chatannoga. Mild roads and some wild camping avilible. We are going next weekend. Make sure you have a MVUM with you. Shows roads and where you can camp. Have fun!
Are the MVUM's you speak of available at Ranger Stations, Park HQ, etc?
 

rmerron

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Are the MVUM's you speak of available at Ranger Stations, Park HQ, etc?
They are in paper, but I down load them into an app I have, Avenza Maps, it’s a free app and the maps are geo-rectified, means it will use your phones GPS and show you where you are on the map. Go to the national forest web site and you will find the maps.
 

erica stafford

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Last year we did a road trip that included a couple days in DC then camping on the Outer Banks. This year, we are talking about spending a couple days knocking around Cherokee, Pisgah, and Nantahala Nat'l Forests followed by a few nights in a hotel in Gatlinburg.

I've got a few maps with tracks others have done in that area and I think it will be a pretty good time. Hoping to do some dispersed camping as opposed to camp grounds. I've never spent any time in this area so we're going in completely blind. I wondered if anyone had any good campsites they would reccomend or any cool places to check out like water falls, swimming holes or the like.

My vehicle is fairly capable and by that time I hope to be lifted and have my winch put in but I'm not looking for super challenging roads to run with a single rig with family in tow.

Thanks guys!
Could you give me some points from some tracks you have gotten? Plannimg a trip for april and looking for all the tracks i can get
 

justjames

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Thank you for posting this. I've done much of the northeast section of your map but none of the remainder so this is great.

I usually miss the obvious so here goes, what is the significance of the red sections as opposed to the blue?
 

TerryD

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Thank you for posting this. I've done much of the northeast section of your map but none of the remainder so this is great.

I usually miss the obvious so here goes, what is the significance of the red sections as opposed to the blue?
Different sources of the routes.
 

TerryD

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We're still working on how to pull this off. My wife has applied for some internships for the summer and if she gets one of them, then this trip may be canceled this year or it may be just me and the kids out there for a few days. We've talked about just trying to focus on the eastern section of what's on there and really spending time there exploring rather than racing through like it looks like we would have to if we tried to much more of it.
 

justjames

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We're still working on how to pull this off. My wife has applied for some internships for the summer and if she gets one of them, then this trip may be canceled this year or it may be just me and the kids out there for a few days. We've talked about just trying to focus on the eastern section of what's on there and really spending time there exploring rather than racing through like it looks like we would have to if we tried to much more of it.
Depending upon the age of your kids, there will be plenty to do in the eastern section. Most of my knowledge of the area has come from a dirt bike but I have done it in my Taco as well so your rig will be fine.
The road which starts just south of Linville Falls is known as Old Highway 105 and it traverses the western rim of the Linville Gorge. If you're not familiar with it, it is known by many as the Grand Canyon of the east due to it's steep, rugged terrain. There are numerous campsites on Old Highway 105 but on the weekends, they go fast as it's first come first serve. Miles of hiking trails are in the area with waterfalls and long range views down the Gorge.
The eastern rim of the Gorge is dominated by Table Rock. It is accessed by a road just south and west of the Start Point of Route 7.5A on your map. There are scattered campsites in the area and again on a first come basis. The camping shown on the map near the summit is on a spectacular ridgeline with views off both sides but is usually crowded. These sites are all a few hundred yards off the parking lot but you cannot drive your rig to them. Plan on spending at least a half day there to hike up and around Table Rock.
One valley to the east is Wilson Creek Gorge. If your kids like swimming and rock slides, you gotta do it. The south section is dominated by the Brown Mountain Beach Resort. Just drive on past it to the many sections north of it and enjoy for free. There are numerous pullovers with trails down to the creek. Plan to get wet.
The two big commercial attractions in this area are Grandfather Mountain and Tweetsie Railroad. You can google them if you have interest. Both will take a half day if that is your cup of tea.
 

TerryD

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Depending upon the age of your kids, there will be plenty to do in the eastern section. Most of my knowledge of the area has come from a dirt bike but I have done it in my Taco as well so your rig will be fine.
The road which starts just south of Linville Falls is known as Old Highway 105 and it traverses the western rim of the Linville Gorge. If you're not familiar with it, it is known by many as the Grand Canyon of the east due to it's steep, rugged terrain. There are numerous campsites on Old Highway 105 but on the weekends, they go fast as it's first come first serve. Miles of hiking trails are in the area with waterfalls and long range views down the Gorge.
The eastern rim of the Gorge is dominated by Table Rock. It is accessed by a road just south and west of the Start Point of Route 7.5A on your map. There are scattered campsites in the area and again on a first come basis. The camping shown on the map near the summit is on a spectacular ridgeline with views off both sides but is usually crowded. These sites are all a few hundred yards off the parking lot but you cannot drive your rig to them. Plan on spending at least a half day there to hike up and around Table Rock.
One valley to the east is Wilson Creek Gorge. If your kids like swimming and rock slides, you gotta do it. The south section is dominated by the Brown Mountain Beach Resort. Just drive on past it to the many sections north of it and enjoy for free. There are numerous pullovers with trails down to the creek. Plan to get wet.
The two big commercial attractions in this area are Grandfather Mountain and Tweetsie Railroad. You can google them if you have interest. Both will take a half day if that is your cup of tea.
I grew up going to Tweetsie RR. We take the kids there occasionally but my mom never had any interest in camping so we never really explored the area. I'm lucky that my wife grew up camping and I picked up the bug in college, going on off-roading trips with the local 4wd clubs.

Thanks for all the pointers too! Those are areas we were really wanting to check out and the kids love swimming and hiking so they'll have a great time there it sounds like.
 

Junktj

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Wilson creek is a must see in this area, pick up a map at the mast store in valle cruicis, or boone. Very nice area.

And if you need recommendations on places to camp and see stuff in this area let me know. I have spent roughly 300 nights in the area.
 
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TerryD

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Well, so far the wife hasn't gotten any of the internships so it looks like we're moving forward with full trip plans. We glanced at the schedule last night for a minute and started talking about what days to do what.

We've got a couple trips planned in the coming months to work on our gear some.
 

Trailex

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Here is what I have:


If anyone has anything to add, feel free to let me know and I'll try to add it on.
Man, those look like some good tracks. Is there any way to get that map in higher detail? I would love to see exactly what you covered up North in the Pisgah region. Planning something up that way soon.
 

justjames

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Man, those look like some good tracks. Is there any way to get that map in higher detail? I would love to see exactly what you covered up North in the Pisgah region. Planning something up that way soon.
I've done a lot of the trails in the northeast section and will be glad to share info. What GPS system are you using, maybe I can create a route and share with you. I'm using Garmin and GaiaGPS. If necessary, I can probably figure out how to do something on Google maps as well.
 

Trailex

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Yes, Gaia would be awesome! Use it all the time. thanks man
Been doing allot of research on that area around Wilson creek. Heard about Richland, Roseboro, old house gap roads. Been down to brown mountain ohv area before. Love the gorge especially table rock itself.
 
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TerryD

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Man, those look like some good tracks. Is there any way to get that map in higher detail? I would love to see exactly what you covered up North in the Pisgah region. Planning something up that way soon.
I thought that was a link you could go to Google and see. You should be able to download it from there. Let me get to a computer in a bit and I'll check it out.