Imagine tranquil lakes and gentle streams, as well as rushing whitewater, all surrounded by the lush Cherokee National Forest in eastern Tennessee. Fall color extravaganzas and the explosion of wildflowers in the spring, create a colorful backdrop for spectacular waterfalls, rivers, streams, trails and scenic byways.

Here you can unwind, relax and renew in a way that’s right for you no matter what the season. If you seek high adventure or the solitude of nature, opportunities abound. This breathtaking area provides something for everyone! No matter what you choose to do, you’ll leave feeling rejuvenated by your experience and looking forward to your next visit back!

Things to See and Do

In Coker Creek:

Visit the Coker Creek website here

  • Coker Creek Welcome Center and Trading Post (closed on Sundays) – This is the place to go for all your information and directions and they also have shopping. Located on Hwy 68
  • Coker Creek Gallery (closed on Sundays, Mondays) – This has been included in The National Geographic Traveler Magazine 2005. They have a great selection of unique gifts – a place where you can find something for almost everyone. Go North on 68 to the Welcome Center, turn left and the Gallery is located on the right.
  • Designs by Baerreis – Hand made items made in Coker Creek
  • Seven Sisters Honey (open Wednesday thru Sunday) – Some of the best honey and honey products anywhere. Located on Hwy 68.
  • Coker Creek Falls – A seven stairstep falls and a grand picnic place. (Get a map from Coker Creek Welcome Center and Trading Post)
  • Buck Bald – A 360 degree view of the mountains and the place to go for sunsets. (Get a map from Coker Creek Welcome Center and Trading Post)
  • Davis Market – Located on Hwy 68 , has great ice cream, sandwiches, and pizza!
  • Unicoi Turnpike Trail – Opened 2005 – Goes along the path of the Trail of Tears – Can walk the trail

In Tellico Plains:

Visit Tellico’s official site here

  • Tellico Grains (closed on Sunday and Monday) – A local bakery that specializes in brick oven baking. If you go there the first day of your stay, we guarantee you will make a daily trip back – their baked goods are delicious. Go North on 68, turn right on 165, turn right on Veterans Memorial Hwy to downtown Tellico Plains
  • Tellico Plains Welcome Center – On Hwy 165 in Tellico Plains – Lots of info
  • Charles Hall Museum – This museum has something interesting for men, women, boys and girls. Has a selection of outdated telephones that you won’t believe. Go North on 68 to 165, turn right, museum is ¼ mile on the left
  • Timeless Treasure – Located in front of the Charles Hall Museum. Has various types of items for shopping or gifts.
  • Papa’s Pizza – In the shopping strip – excellent take out
  • Tellicafe (closed on Mondays) – Very good and has a variety of items
  • Kats Deli – Great sandwiches! On the River, Cherohala Skyway, has a variety of items
  • Cherahala Skyway – This is a 58 mile highway in the sky that connects Tellico Plains to North Carolina. It is easy to follow Hwy 165 all the way. This has a fantastic view.
  • Bald River Falls – Follow Hwy 165 along the river for approximately 5 miles to the sign for Bald River Falls. This is a lovely drive to the falls and you can enjoy them from your car or walk around.
  • “Nuttin Fancy” Restaurant – Home Cooking, Breakfast too!
  • “Outpost Pavilion”- Outdoor Food and Entertainment
  • Cherohala Market – Deli, Pizza, sandwiches and Ice cream
  • Manroe County Welcome Center – Brochures, maps, gifts, local information
  • Indian Boundary – A lake in the mountains. Approximately 14 miles from Tellico Plains
  • Shops in quaint downtown Tellico Plains – Turn off Hwy 165 to the downtown district and you will find a few shops – Ice Cream Parlor, The Stone Cottage, Scott Street Gallery, The Book Shelf, gift shops & others

Visit the Guide to Tellico Plains

Cherohala Skyway

East Tennessee’s premier scenic byway crossing the Tennessee-North Carolina border at the crest of the Great Smoky Mountains…..

The 42-mile long Skyway climbs to a mile above sea level and winds itself over mountains and through forests, offering dramatic scenic vistas.


In Tennessee, the Cherohala Skyway (TN State Hwy 165) links the quaint  mountain village of Tellico Plains to North Carolina’s town of Robbsinsville.  Designated a National Scenic Byway, the Skyway follows a mile-high ridge in the Unicoi Mountains and was built specifically for sightseeing.  The drive takes about two to three hours from Tellico Plains at elevations around 1,000 ft. ascending to almost 6,000 ft. at its highest point.  The byway clings to four peaks over 5,000 ft. in elevation and offers (weather permitting) amazing views of forests, mountain vistas, foliage, rivers and waterfalls, including the world-class Tellico River and Bald River Falls just outside Tellico Plains in the Cherokee National Forest.

Starting out in Tellico Plains, a great stop is the Cherohala Skyway Visitor’s Center which offers a wealth of local information, maps and area literature.  Be sure to top your gas off before taking the 42-mile drive since there are no gas stations or commercial businesses once you get into the National Forest area along the Skyway.  Popularity has exploded since the Skyway’s opening in 1996.  Millions of sightseers enjoy traversing this mountain highway, both 4 and 2 wheel vehicles.  Motorcyclists especially love the winding highway with its vast vistas.   Travelers pass through the Cherokee National Forest which offers an abundance of recreational opportunities.  Tennessee’s only National Forest, Cherokee contains more than 600 miles of hiking trails, including a section of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.  The Forest is home to 262 birds, 154 species of fish, 55 species of amphibians and reptiles and 43 species of mammals.

You will begin the Skyway by following the scenic Tellico River which winds its way along the highway.  This scenic river is popular with fishermen and white-water enthusiasts.  The river eventually flows into TVA’s beautiful Tellico Lake located close to Vonore, TN.  Bald River Falls is a definite “stop & see”.  After a five mile drive along the Skyway you will take State Route 210 (right) for a six-mile gorgeous meandering trail along the river to the falls area.  100-foot Bald River Falls is worth the trip and offers parking, picnicking, photo taking, and hiking trails.  Continue back to the Skyway at leisure and enjoy the next 30+ miles of scenery that gets better with each mile.

The Cherohala Skyway, a National Scenic Byway Click here to learn more

Other Areas of Interest:

  • The Lost Sea – Located in Sweetwater, Hwy 68 – A fantastic place to visit-interesting for all ages
  • Antique Districts – Located in Sweetwater downtown and in Etowah downtown
  • Sequoyah Museum & Fort Loudon State Park– Located in Vonore (Hwy 411 off Hwy 68)
  • White Water Rafting – Located on Ocoee River (south of Coker Creek)
  • World-class trout fishing on the Tellico River or the Hiwassee River
  • Pigeon Forge-Gatlinburg – Only 90 minutes away

The Cherokee National Forest

Visit the Forests official site here

The forest covers approximately 640,000 acres and stretches across 10 east Tennessee counties – from Chattanooga, TN in the south to Bristol, TN in the north.  It is the largest single tract of public land in Tennessee.
The Cherokee National Forest is divided into four Range Districts:

  • Ocoee/Hiwassee
  • Tellico/Hiwassee
  • Nolichucky/Unaka
  • Watauga

Monroe County, Tennessee is located in the Tellico Ranger District.
Within the boundaries of the Cherokee National Forest exist:

  • 9 Major Rivers
  • Approx. 500 miles of Cold Water Streams
  • Approx. 500 miles of Hiking Trails
  • Approx. 100 miles of Horseback Riding Trails
  • Approx. 80 miles of Mountain Biking Trails
  • Approx. 750 miles of Scenic Drive Roads open to the public
  • 30 developed campgrounds
  • 30 picnic area
  • An estimated 43 species of mammals
  • An estimated 55 species of Amphibians & Reptiles
  • An estimated 154 species of fish

Approximately 1/3 of Monroe County, Tennessee is located in the Cherokee National Forest.  Monroe County, Tennessee is home to approximately 190 miles of Cherokee National Forest hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking trails.
An estimated 1/2 of the developed campgrounds are located in and around Monroe County, Tennessee.

Tourist Info Sites

E-map of Tellico Plains area


Local Monroe County newspaper


Nearby McMinn county newspaper


Vacation spot for whitewater rafting on the Ocoee & Hiawassee Rivers; outdoor adventure, scenic drives through the Cherokee National Forest; heritage trails, art & antiques, historic places, and so much more!


Monroe County Government

Monroe County Tourism Council web site.  Plenty of info on local attractions, recreation, campgrounds, restaurants, shopping, and more