10 Best Campgrounds – Cherokee National Forest

by | Cherokee National Forest, Ocoee River

The smell of a campfire in the eastern Tennessee mountains is calling your name. Come and gather with friends and family, listen to the nocturnal sounds of nature, and sleep under the stars. We at Carolina Ocoee love a good camping trip, so we’ve gathered 10 of the best campgrounds in the Cherokee National Forest near the Ocoee River.

Find a great camping spot, then book a white water rafting trip with Carolina Ocoee for a fun-filled day of adventure.

Indian Boundary Recreation Area

looking at mountains from inside green tent

In Tellico Plains, less than an hour from Carolina Ocoee whitewater rafting, the Indian Boundary Recreation Area is near a beautiful lake where you can camp, hike, mountain bike, swim, and fish. The lake has a boat ramp for easy access to fishing (no motorized boats). There are 87 campsites with electrical hookups. Nearby are showers and flushing toilets, access to drinking water, and a dump site for RVs.

Chilhowee Recreation Area

two tents at lake ocoee river

Just about 30 minutes from the Ocoee River in Ducktown, Tennessee the Chilhowee Recreation Area and Campground in Benton offers electric hookups, RV sites, tent-only sites, and multiple bathhouses at more than 70 camping sites. You can swim at McKamy Lake on a sandy beach and fish from the shoreline. Bring your non-motorized boat and enjoy time on the water. There are 25 miles of hiking and biking trails for your enjoyment as well.

Parksville Lake Campground

tent camping in mountains at sundown ocoee river

Convenient to the Ocoee River and white water rafting, Parksville Lake Campground offers tent and RV camping with electric hookups. Tent camps are separated from the RV sites by highway 30. Many miles of biking and hiking trails are also available at this centralized campground. Flush and vault toilets, showers, and a dump station are available for your convenience. Nestled in the Appalachian foothills, this lake offers an abundance of fun activities as you interact with nature. Hike, swim, fish, and explore the surrounding forest until your heart’s content. 

McNabb Group Camp

rv parked at a campsite in cherokee national forest

McNabb Group Camp is for groups of 10 people or more. It’s a great camping site for family reunions and get-togethers, offering privacy for your gathering. They offer grills, picnic tables, and portable toilets for your use. No potable water, so bring your own! Activities during your stay include, hunting, fishing, swimming, hiking and, most of all, a relaxing time. So, if you have a large group, this campground is a good place to camp.


Mecca Camp Resort

6 blue tents camping with blue ridge mountains behind

If you’re into a bit of glamping with your camping trip, Mecca Camp Resort is the place for you. 29 RV sites accommodate long RVs with 50/30/20 amp hookups. In addition, they offer glamping tents and hammock camping pods. A large family pool is available along with a camp store and bathhouse. The campground is close to white water rafting in Ducktown, Tennessee, hiking, fishing, kayaking, and scenic beauty.

Mountain Riders Riverfront Camping

green tent camping next to ocoee river

Less than an hour from the Ocoee River, Mountain Riders Riverfront Camping offers a comfortable camping experience. Whether you like RVing, tent camping, cabin camping, or glamping, you’re sure to find the perfect spot for your camping adventure along the Valley River in Andrews, North Carolina. During the day you can go white water rafting with Carolina Ocoee on the Ocoee River or Carolina Outfitters on the Nantahala River, and hike or bike the many trails in the area. You can also fish, observe wildlife, swim and occasionally float in the river during your stay.


Thunder Rock Campground

closeup of flames in campfire

Thunder Rock Campground offers tent spots and small RV camping along the Ocoee River in Copperhill, Tennessee. Hikers and white water enthusiasts make this campground a popular place to camp. Thunder Rock offers a bathhouse with flushing toilets and warm showers. The campground is within close proximity of the Tanasi trail system which boasts 30 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. It’s also close to the Ocoee River for some awesome white water rafting with Carolina Ocoee!

Tumbling Creek Campground

vw van camper at night

If it’s a quiet peaceful place you crave, try Tumbling Creek Campground. This remote campground has 8 campsites along a creek and is tent camping only. This is a great campground for hikers who climb to see spectacular views from mountain tops. Big Frog Wilderness offers many secluded hiking and biking opportunities to unplug from the world and engage with nature. Take a leisurely stroll or a more strenuous hike into the mountains. The goal is to breathe in the fresh mountain air and relax for a little while.

Gee Creek Campground

campfire close-up of flames

Gee Creek is a primitive campground with 47 camp sites. No hookups or generator use, but they do have a bathhouse with flushing toilets and hot showers. Many of the camping spots are near the Hiwassee/Ocoee Scenic River. Easy access to the river offers nature walks, fishing and even swimming. Several campsites are designated for large groups with bigger areas for any scheduled activities. 

Poteete Creek Campground

green tent camping at lake near carolina ocoee

Located in Blairsville, Georgia, Poteete Creek Campground is about a 35 minute drive from Ducktown, Tennessee and is located on Nottely Lake. Campsites include tents and small and large campers with power (30/20/15 amp) and water available at most sites. Their recreation area gives you access to a boat ramp, picnic tables, swimming beach, pavilion, fishing, restrooms, and a bathhouse with showers.

Be sure to check out each campground’s website for complete information! You’re sure to find a camping spot that is perfect for you and your family in the beautiful Cherokee National Forest near Ducktown, Tennessee! While in town be sure to book a white water rafting adventure with Carolina Ocoee.

Margaret Marr, is a local author of paranormal, mystery, and suspense laced with romance. She has written over 15 books available on Amazon. 


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