A short, easy trail to the edge of Cherokee, North Carolina.”
— Tom Walsh
Features: Fall Colors — River/Creek — Wildflowers — Wildlife
This is a flat easy 5k running trail that is well maintained by the Park service. The heavy tree canopy provides ample shade for summer runs and a nice wind break in the winter. Runners will enjoy the sounds and views of the river along the majority of this trail.
The trail runs from the Oconaluftee Visitor Center past a historic farm setting then along the Oconaluftee River to the edge of Cherokee, NC. It is a well maintained and relatively flat with a few small hills. The trail winds through dense forest, which provides nice shade in the summer and a wind break in the winter. There is one easy road crossing at Saunooke Bridge road (Google maps mislabels this as 441) then the trail continues for approximately 1/10th mile before turning back.
Elk frequent this area so be watchful. The Oconaluftee River Trail is frequently used by joggers, walkers, and bicyclists.
Flora & Fauna
Spring flowers, moss, and ferns blanket the forest floor, rocks, and trees. Poison ivy is very prevalent though out this area so be watchful when venturing off trail.