There is a variety of things to do in Cherokee, North Carolina. The town is located on a reservation that is home to the Eastern Band of Cherokee Nation. Visitors can visit the Oconaluftee Indian Village, which preserves the way of life of the Cherokee in the 18th century. The town is also home to the Mountainside Theatre, which presents dramas like “Unto These Hills.” The Great Smoky Mountains National Park also has campgrounds and hiking trails, perfect for families.
If you’re looking for a unique waterfall to visit, look no further than Mingo Falls. This waterfall is 120 feet high and is located in the Qualla Boundary, a land trust owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. It’s near the town of Cherokee in Swain County, North Carolina. It is among the tallest waterfalls in the southern Appalachians.
You’ll find Mingo Falls on a trail that leads to the waterfall. The trail is about a quarter mile long and consists of 161 steps, but you’ll get great views of the waterfall at the end. Because of the steep steps, it’s recommended to visit early in the day when temperatures are still moderate.
The hike begins at mile 0.7, where you’ll find the trailhead for Mingo Falls. After hiking for a few hours, you’ll find yourself in the amphitheater of the waterfall, where the water drops 150 feet. Taking in the sights is the best part of the hike, so make sure to bring your camera!
If you’re traveling to the area by car, the trailhead for Mingo Falls is located on the Big Cove Road, near Saunooke Village. The trailhead is a quarter mile long, and there are 161 stairs that lead to a viewing bridge at the base of the waterfall. This waterfall is particularly impressive after a heavy rain.
Oconaluftee Indian Village
The Oconaluftee Indian Village is a recreation of an 18th century eastern Cherokee community. It is located in Cherokee, North Carolina, along the Oconaluftee River. It is a popular tourist destination for families and individuals who are interested in the history and culture of the Cherokee.
You can visit the village from mid-April through early November. The village is open to the public on Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm. It is located at 288 Drama Road, Cherokee, NC. For additional savings, you can combine your visit with the “Unto These Hills” outdoor drama center.
The village is filled with traditional Cherokee structures, including pre-contact style homes covered in clay with a central fire, post-contact style log cabins, and seven-sided council houses. The village offers guided tours and a walk through the botanical garden, which displays indigenous plants. The village also has a gift shop where you can purchase Cherokee crafts. The gift shop features only artwork created by members of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
Oconaluftee Indian Village is a culturally authentic replica of life in the 1750s for Cherokee Indians. Guides dressed in traditional Indian dress take visitors on a tour of the village and demonstrate traditional arts and crafts. They can also show you how to make blowguns, arrowheads, and pottery.
Saunooke Village is located on the Cherokee Indian Reservation and features Cherokee Indian art, crafts, and history. You can also enjoy food and drink at the village’s shops and restaurants. You can even visit the water mill and buy fresh ground cornmeal. This historic village also hosts musical events, such as the Unto these Hills play.
You can also visit the Cherokee Bear Zoo to see tigers and baby bears. You can even take the kids on a ride on the Rudiocoaster headed by Santa. If you’ve got young children, you can also paddle boat through the lake teeming with giant koi fish.
You can also see how Cherokee craftsmen created their crafts. The village is very small, but offers a unique opportunity to experience the arts in a traditional setting. You can watch artisans at work and see how their work evolved when European materials were introduced. In fact, many of the buildings are 1/3 scale.
Saunooke Village is one of the oldest villages in the United States. You can visit this unique place during your trip to Cherokee and spend some quality time in the mountains. While you’re there, be sure to stop at the Cherokee Reservation Craft Shop. They offer many unique items, and the staff is friendly and helpful.
Fire Mountain Trails
Fire Mountain is a new multi-use trail system in Cherokee, North Carolina. Opened by the Cherokee Tribe of Indians, the trail system is composed of over ten miles of trails. You can hike or bike the trails, and there is no admission fee. The trails are open year-round.
The trails are designed for mountain biking, hiking, and running. They stretch over 10.5 miles in length. There are also e-bike trails available on the trail system. The community has invested a lot of money in improving the trails and making them accessible for people of all abilities.
The project started with an idea from Cherokee tribal member, Tonya “Tinker” Jenks. Her vision was to help Cherokee citizens stay physically active. The Cherokee have a high rate of obesity and diabetes, so she wanted to offer an option for residents to stay healthy. Her vision was expanded by Jeremy Hyatt, a mountain biker, who partnered with her to create the trail system. Once opened, the trail system quickly became a popular destination for people who enjoy biking and hiking.
The trails are easy to navigate and the signage is well-placed. Several trails are labeled with difficulty levels so that visitors can choose a level that suits their ability and riding style. The Kessel Run trail, for example, is challenging and offers jumps and banked berm turns. The Tinker’s Dream trail is more gentle and offers easy riding. The trail system is also a good place to ride electric bikes.
Sassy Sunflowers Bakery and Cafe
Sassy Sunflowers Bakery & Cafe in Cherokee, NC serves delicious baked goods and healthy spins on traditional favorites. The menu is vegan and vegetarian friendly and includes options for people with dietary restrictions. The cafe also serves coffee, juices, and smoothies. It has a nice outdoor seating area.
This bakery and cafe features a sassy twist on classic sandwiches. Whether you’re in the mood for a gourmet burger or a simple, hearty sandwich, you’ll find something to satisfy your hunger. The cafe also offers a wide variety of baked goods and great coffee.
The area is also home to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, an 800-square-mile expanse of unfiltered nature. The park is located on the border of North Carolina and Tennessee. While in Cherokee, be sure to plan your trip accordingly.
The Mingus Mill in Cherokee, North Carolina is a historic site that was once used to grind corn. The mill was built in 1886 and operated by local farmers. On Saturdays, area farmers would ride to the mill with their turn of corn. Today, the mill is operated by volunteers and can be visited during the summer months. Parking is available in the parking lot. Restrooms are available on site.
The Mingus Mill was built in 1886 by Thomas Early. This mill is unique because it uses a turbine instead of a waterwheel to turn its machinery. The turbine takes water from the penstock and routes it under the mill to power the machinery inside the building. The mill was one of the most technologically advanced mills in the region when it was constructed. The Mingus family sold the mill to the National Park Service in 1934. In 1937, the mill was restored by the park service. The mill closed during World War II, but reopened again in 1968.
Mingus Mill is located just outside Cherokee, North Carolina. You can tour this mill, which was built in 1886, and learn about the early history of the town and its milling operation. The mill is a popular tourist attraction. Tours are free, and cornmeal is available for purchase.