Cherokee Oconaluftee River Trail

Map of TRACK Trail at Oconaluftee River

The Oconaluftee River TRACK Trail is at the junction of the Cherokee Nation (Qualla Boundary) and the Great Smoky Mountains. The trail passes under the terminus of the Blue Ridge Parkway, a 469-mile ribbon of green connecting Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina with Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. The Oconaluftee River TRACK Trail offers several scenic views of the river, as well as interpretive panels about Cherokee folklore. The trailhead sign and three of the TRACK Trail brochures have elements translated into Cherokee Syllabary.

The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians has over 14, 500 tribal members and have lived in this region for generations. The Cherokee people continue their traditional lifestyle of fishing, hunting and gathering wild foods from the mountains as well as enjoying modern careers. The tribe operates the Cherokee Indian Hospital Authority, tribal services for visitors and member residents and Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Hotel. For more information visit www.nc-cherokee.com

Cherokee Choices works to mobilize the community to confront environmental and biological factors that put Cherokee people at higher risk for diabetes.

The cornerstones of this program are listening to the community and providing social support to increase physical activity and promote well-being and healthy choices, which can reduce the risk for obesity and diabetes. This approach makes Cherokee Choices different from the top-down programs typically provided by social service agencies.

Healthy Roots is a program within Cherokee Choices. The goals of this program are to increase the availability of local, traditional foods, as well as, to promote and increase the usage of trails among the members of the Cherokee community.

For more information on Healthy Roots, please call Tinker Jenks at 828-554-6788. For information on Cherokee Choices, please call Sheena Kanott at 828-554-6782.

Track an adventure here
Collectible sticker for Oconaluftee River

Location Details

Recreational Features:
Amenities: Restrooms, Visitor Center
ADA Compliant:
Seasonality:
The banks of the Oconaluftee River
Flowers on a tree
Eight-spotted forester moth
Oconaluftee River
Tulip Poplar flower
Kids in Parks trailhead
Oconaluftee River
Trail running past split rail fence and barn

Adventures for Cherokee Oconaluftee River Trail

Animal Athletes brochure
Hiking

Cherokee Animal Athletes

Difficulty:
Easy
Trail length:
3.00
Cherokee's Animal Athletes adventure challenges kids to exercise with the animals. This brochure tells Cherokee animal legends and gives kids eight different animal exercises they can do along the trail. From the Rabbit Long-jump to the Water Spider Crawl, kids are sure to have fun getting in shape with the animals during their outdoor adventures.
Nature's Hide and Seek brochure
Hiking

Cherokee Hide N Seek

Difficulty:
Easy
Trail length:
3.00
The Nature's Hide & Seek brochure is designed so that kids of all ages can walk along the trail and discover common things that are often overlooked in nature. Some of them are hard to find, others are easy. Best of all, the adventure never ends because every time you walk the trail you will discover new things hiding in nature.
The Need for Trees brochure
Hiking

Cherokee Need for Trees

Difficulty:
Easy
Trail length:
3.00
By following the picture and textual clues found in "The Need for Trees" brochure, kids will discover six of the more common trees found along the trail. During their adventure, kids will learn about Cherokee uses of Trees, the need that people and other animals have for trees and about the roles trees play in the forest.
The Power of Plants brochure
Hiking

Cherokee Power of Plants

Difficulty:
Easy
Trail length:
3.00
The Power of Plants adventure reveals some of the herbal secrets of The Cherokee that have been passed down from generation to generation. Kids will learn how to identify six different plants along the Oconaluftee River Trail and learn how the Cherokee use these plants in everyday life. 

Directions

Oconaluftee River Trailhead / Barclay's Parking Area
Tsali Blvd (SR-441 Northbound) at Acquoni Rd.
Cherokee, NC 28719
Latitude: 35.477057400000
Longitude: -83.320585900000

GPS Coordinates: 35.499282,-83.304333

Partners

The TRACK Trail program is sponsored by the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation.

The Oconaluftee River TRACK Trail was made possible by a partnership formed between the Kids in Parks program, the Eastern Band of Cherokees, and Cherokee Choices.