Find Your Adventure at Fire Mountain Trails in Cherokee, NC | Cherokee, NC

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Find Your Adventure at Fire Mountain Trails in Cherokee, NC

Did you know that Cherokee’s Fire Mountain Trail system is free and open to the public every day? The 10.5-mile, mixed-use network provides guests with a variety of paths (seven trails in total), so there’s plenty of room for everyone to recreate safely and responsibly. It’s perfect for​bikers, hikers, runners, walkers, and anyone wanting to get out in nature.

The trails interlace through the nearby Great Smoky Mountains, so you know the views and terrain will take your breath away. For mountain bikers, there are single-track and wider sections, as well as smooth spots and more challenging trails. 

The trailhead is conveniently located a hundred yards from the Oconaluftee Indian Village in Cherokee, NC, where it also shares a parking lot.

Spearheaded by the Tribal Project Management Team, the planning process for the trails began in 2014. Funding was provided by a Cherokee Preservation Foundation grant, and after approval of the initial plan by the Tribal Council, funding was secured from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. 

The property is in a land trust, which means it is protected from development. Visitors to the trail are certain to spot interesting flora and fauna, such as elk and snakes (and possibly bear or deer). Oak and hickory trees are mixed with hardwoods, poplar trees, and mountain laurel. In the past, hunters would come to the area looking for turkeys and bears.When asked how the Trail got its name, Jeremy Hyatt, Secretary of Administration for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians explains: “The property on the mountain that we built the trails on has a history of catching fire—in fact it did during the planning phase. We thought it was an apt name considering what arose from those ashes.” 

Visitors today, however, need not worry about fires.


The trails are dog friendly, but pet owners are encouraged to use good judgment when bringing their animals to the trails. Parking at the Oconaluftee Indian Village and entrance to the trails are free of charge. Make it more than a day trek—plan an overnight stay in one of our many accommodations. For more information on Fire Mountain Trails, click here.

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