Tennessee River Valley and Smoky Mountain Hiking Trails
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Cherokee National Forest Southern District Hiking Trails

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Chilhowee Watchable Wildlife Trail

As you walk this loop, notice how wildlife use different habitats in the forest. Along the trail there are three different ecosystems – a grassy opening, a white pine community, and a hardwood forest. These habitats provide a variety of food and shelter types for animals. During spring and fall migration and summer breeding season, watch and listen for migratory birds like scarlet tanagers and block throated green warblers. During the winter months, listen for residents like golden-crowned kinglets, pine warblers, and Carolina chickadees. Nature detectives might also see signs of deer and other animals that live in the area.

Gee Creek Watchable Wildlife Trail

This easy loop trail meanders through wooded areas near Gee Creek Wilderness. Grasses, shrubs, and trees have been planted and nest boxes have been installed to attract wildlife for viewing. Look for white-tailed deer and gray squirrels. Listen to the songs of the many species of birds that use this area.

Hiwassee State Scenic River

The stretch of the John Muir National Recreation Trail is ideal for viewing wading birds as they search for food in the pools near the shores of the Hiwassee River.

Tellico Auto Loop: Climbing from 1,000 to over 5,000 feet, this auto loop passes wilderness, managed forest and a black bear sanctuary. There are many excellent birding opportunities: watch for red breasted nuthatch, rose-breasted grosbeak, Blackburnian warbler, very and winter wren. You may spot an occasional bear, boar, red squirrel, eastern chipmunk, or a red or gray fox.


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