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Camping at North River Campground

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Location and Access

North River Campground is located within the Cherokee National Forest in eastern Tennessee, nestled along the banks of the North River. The scenic natural area provides an excellent backdrop for camping and outdoor recreation.

To access the campground, visitors typically drive on the Tellico River Road (Forest Road 210) which is a winding mountain road. The road conditions can sometimes deter larger RVs or trailers, so it's best to check current conditions and vehicle recommendations before setting out.

Campground Facilities

The campground is generally considered primitive, with limited facilities. Here's what you can expect:

  • Campsites: The number of sites can vary, but generally it offers a modest number of campsites.
  • Amenities: Standard amenities may include picnic tables, fire rings, and possibly grilling stations.
  • Restrooms: There are typically pit toilets available, but no flush toilets or showers.
  • Water Access: Drinking water may not be available on-site, so campers often need to bring their own or be prepared to treat water from natural sources.


The Cherokee National Forest is known for a plethora of outdoor activities. At North River Campground, campers can engage in:

  • Fishing: The North River and nearby streams are popular for trout fishing.
  • Hiking: Trails of varying difficulty can be found throughout the forest including in the vicinity of the campground.
  • Wildlife Viewing: The forest is home to diverse wildlife, offering opportunities to see birds, deer, and possibly even bear.

Fees and Reservations

Fees for camping at North River Campground are typically required, and the rates can vary. It's advisable to check the current fee structure before planning your trip. As for reservations, it can vary:

  • First-come, first-served: Some or all sites might be available on this basis, meaning no reservations are possible and sites are claimed upon arrival.
  • Reservations: If a reservation system is in place, it typically can be accessed through Recreation.gov or a similar service.

Season of Operation

The campground is not open year-round. It usually operates seasonally with specific opening and closing dates that depend on weather and other factors.

  • Opening: Often in spring, as conditions allow.
  • Closing: Commonly in late autumn before the onset of winter weather.

Considerations for Visiting

  • Wildlife: Always be bear-aware; store food and scented items properly.
  • Leave No Trace: Follow Leave No Trace principles to minimize your impact on the natural environment.
  • Weather: Conditions can change rapidly; be prepared with appropriate gear for cold, rain, or other weather events.

Before Heading to North River Campground

Check the latest information with the USDA Forest Service or local ranger district for updates on the campground status, any alerts or closures, and detailed information on what to expect upon arrival. Conditions and available services can change, so having the latest information is crucial for planning a successful camping trip.

Location of North River Campground
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