Heritage & History!

 With 650,000 acres of woods, streams and mountains, the Cherokee National Forest is the largest track of public land in Tennessee.  The historic forest spreads over 10 counties in Tennessee and one in North Carolina, and features sights such as the Ocoee River and 150 miles of the Appalachian Trail.  The Forest contains at least 15 different recreational zones, each providing guests with unique outdoor activities and experiences.  For more information about visiting the Cherokee National Forest please call (423) 476-9700 or visit their website at http://www.fs.usda.gov/cherokee.

Originally inhabited by the Cherokee Indians, the Cherokee National Forest is a historic landmark that offers guests a chance to visit the same land that their ancestors lived, worked and loved.  The Cherokee National Forest remained solely Indian land, until the late 1700s, when colonial settlers began to move west.  As settlers moved west, the Appalachian Mountains became home to new families and new ideas, each marking a different era in history.  During the 1880s, timber companies began to settle into the forest and by 1910, almost 40% of all U.S. timber was harvested from the Southern Appalachian Mountains.  In the early 1900s, lumbering in the mountains provided jobs to locals and the numerous logging roads and trails later became beautiful scenic parkways.  Unfortunately, by 1910 the majority of the Southern Appalachian Forest was completely depleted of timber and other resources, forces the lumbering companies to move west, leaving behind poverty and dead land.  In 1911, the US Congress passed the Weeks Act, which bestowed the US federal government the authorization to purchase "forested, cut-over, or denuded lands within the watersheds of navigable streams."  Much of the Cherokee National Forest was collected under this act, and in June of 1920, the Cherokee National Forest was established.  While much of the forest was depleted, burned and destroyed at the time of establishment, today, the Cherokee National Forest is a vibrant and beautiful historic landmark.  Home to many notable species of animals, the National Forest offers visitors an opportunity to escape into much simpler times, and experience the beauty of our historic American treasure.
  Whatever reason you choose to visit, the Cherokee National Park provides spring and summer fun.  The Forest offers various zones with different activities and fun for all ages.  Just a short drive away, Sugar Hollow Retreat offers lodging for your visit to the Cherokee National Forest.  The staff at Sugar Hollow is friendly and willing to help, so don't hesitate to call at 1-800-957-1776, or visit us at http://www.sugarhollowretreat.com/.  Experience the historic splendor of the Cherokee National Park today!