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Camping at Old Forge Campground

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Overview of Old Forge Campground

Old Forge Campground is a public camping area located in the Cherokee National Forest, which spans across parts of eastern Tennessee. It is a serene destination for campers, hikers, and nature enthusiasts. The campground offers a rustic camping experience amidst the Appalachian Mountains, with the ability to enjoy various outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and wildlife observation.

Camping Facilities


  • The campground typically offers basic amenities such as tent sites, picnic tables, and fire rings.
  • There are usually no hookups for RVs, making it more suitable for tent camping or self-sufficient RV campers.
  • Restroom facilities may be available, but they are likely to be primitive, such as vault toilets.


  • The number of campsites available can vary, and it's important to check the current capacity or any reservation requirements ahead of your trip.

Activities and Attractions

  • Hiking: There are trails accessible from or near the campground that offer a range of hiking experiences, from easy walks to more strenuous hikes.
  • Fishing: The streams and rivers in the area are popular for trout fishing. Remember to check if you need a Tennessee fishing license.
  • Wildlife Watching: The forest is home to diverse wildlife, and birdwatchers can enjoy a variety of native species.

Seasons and Accessibility

  • Seasonal Operation: Old Forge Campground may operate seasonally, with potential closures during winter months due to weather conditions. Always verify if the campground is open before planning your trip.

  • Weather: Conditions in the mountains can change rapidly, so be prepared for various weather scenarios, including rain and cooler temperatures at night, even in summer.

Reservations and Fees

  • Reservations: Depending on the campground policy, sites may be available on a first-come, first-served basis, or you may be able to reserve a spot in advance.
  • Fees: There is usually a nightly fee for camping. Check the latest rates and payment methods as they can fluctuate and may only be payable on-site or through specific reservation platforms.

Campground Regulations

Fire Safety:

  • Always follow local guidelines regarding campfires, especially during dry seasons when the risk of forest fires is higher.

Leave No Trace:

  • Practicing Leave No Trace principles is essential to maintain the natural beauty and health of the forest. Pack out what you pack in and dispose of waste properly.

Wildlife Precautions:

  • Proper food storage is crucial to avoid attracting bears and other wildlife.


  • If pets are allowed, they typically must be kept on a leash and controlled at all times.

Getting There

  • The campground is situated within Cherokee National Forest, and getting there may involve driving on rural and forested roads. Always check road conditions and access points before embarking on your trip, as directions may change due to road work or natural events.

Contact Information

For the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding Old Forge Campground, it's best to contact the Cherokee National Forest District Office or visit the official USDA Forest Service website for the area. There you can find contacts, alerts, and updates pertinent to planning your camping trip.

Location of Old Forge Campground
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