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Tennessee > Cherokee National Forest > Tellico Ranger District
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Tellico Ranger District

Bald River Gorge Scenic Area- This small Wilderness Area features Bald River, its gorge and waterfalls. It was designation a Wilderness Area in 1984.
Citico Creek Wilderness Area- This large, protected area was heavily logged before gaining Wilderness Designation in 1984. A damaging fire brought the severity of over-logging to the attention of congress and the region is slowly regaining its healthy natural habitats.
Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness Area- The United States Congress designated the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness Area in 1975 and it now has a total of 17,394 acres. Camping and hiking are popular activities in this Wilderness Area.

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General Information

Description - The 123,373 acre Tellico Ranger District, located in Monroe Country, is one of six Ranger Districts in the Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee. Elevation ranges from approximately 900 feet, near Tellico Plains, to 5,472 feet at Haw Knob.

Attractions - There are several campgrounds in this district, including Indian Boundary Lake, Big Oak Cove, Davis Branch, and Jake Best Campground. Over 150 miles of hiking trails are maintained within Tellico Ranger District. Horseback riding is also popular with 26 miles of trails. Hunters will enjoy pursuing black bear, Russian boar, deer, turkey, grouse, squirrel and raccoon during different seasons of the year. The streams, rivers and lakes are filled with a variety of fish species, including brook trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, smallmouth and largemouth bass, blue catfish, bluegill and redbreasted sunfish.

Tellico River Road, Forest Service Road 210, the North River Road, Forest Service Road 217, and Citico Creek Road, Forest Service Road 35, offer scenic driving through this region of the National Forest. The Overhill Scenic Byway, Tennessee State Highway 165, is known for its scenic beauty. The road travels over the mountains through the Tennessee and North Carolina Overhill area, connecting Tellico Plains, Tennessee, and Robbinsville, North Carolina, and offers spectacular views from several scenic overlooks.

Waterfalls bring crowds to this district. Some are easily accessible and others can be reached with some effort on foot or horseback. Baby Falls, Bald River Falls, Falls Branch Falls and Lower Slickrock Creek Falls are a few of the waterfalls in the Cherokee National Forest.

A portion of the Tellico Ranger District, 23,659 acres, has been set aside as designated Wilderness. This area has limited facilities and little development. All activities are permitted in the wilderness, except those that involve motorized and mechanized vehicles and equipment.

Recreation - Tellico Ranger District offers camping, hiking, horseback riding, hunting, fishing and scenic driving. Picnicking swimming, canoeing, kayaking, tubing, photography and backpacking are also popular pursuits in this Ranger District.

Climate - Tennessee has a temperate climate with short, mild winters. The average annual snowfall for the state is 12 inches. Spring comes in early March bringing flowering trees and shrubs, and warmer weather. Spring temperatures average between 45 and 70 degrees F. Summers full force arrives in the region by mid May, bringing warm weather and higher humidity. The mountains of eastern Tennessee are a great place to escape the hot summer temperatures as the higher elevation cools the air slightly. Cooling fall temperatures bring crisp air and brilliant foliage colors. Mid to late October is a good time to visit the region to experience the fall color change.

Location - The Tellico Ranger District is located immediately south of Great Smoky Mountain National Park. It's southeastern border lies next to the northern district of the Nantahala National Forest.

Current Conditions & Trip Reports

Trip Reports:
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Filed By: Cindy Clayton (Athens, TN)
Number of People Encountered: 0-10 ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: Please be sure if you are camping to put your money in the box, my son paid the ranger directly, and he put it in his pocket and then he gave him a 75.00 citiation to pay, plus one for having a cooler under the picnic table, although the people next to them had food on the table and wasn't even there. just because my son had another county car tags, either though he was raised in Tellico, and the other people had monroe tags. just not right

Number of People Encountered: 50+ ppl
Recommend to a Friend: Highly
Report: From Tellico Plains take FR 210 stop at the Beach and have lunch then drive to the fish hatchery. If any one hasn't been there they will enjoy seeing all the different size fish that are raised there. Trout only it will be a relaxing experience. more next time

More Information

Contact Information:
Tellico Ranger District, 250 Ranger Station Road , Tellico Plains, TN, 37385, Phone: 423-253-2520

Additional Information:
Cherokee National Forest - Cherokee National Forest lies in the mountains of southeastern Tennessee. It borders Great Smoky Mountains National Park to the north and south, comprising the largest tract of public land in the State.


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