Thursday, November 1, 2012
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Why We love It
Chilhowee Recreation Area
1 hour, 28 minutes from downtown Chattanooga, Chilhowee offers many overlooks, beautiful mountain settings, and stunning fall foliage.
With the kids back in school and the weather a little harder to predict, Chilhowee Campground can provide the perfect getaway for a quick night out under the stars without all the prep time often eeded for bigger trips. Located in the Chilhowee Recreation Area, the campground normally offers more than 70 campsites, electric hookups, RV sites, tent-only sites and multiple bathhouses. But during the winter season beginning in November, it goes primitive with 14 tent-only sites and no running water. Although the crowds are gone, the great Cherokee Forest atmosphere still abounds on more than 25 miles of combination hiking/mountain biking trails, along with scenic waterfalls. The 7-acre McKamy Lake features ample fishing for rainbow trout, bluegill and small and largemouth bass, plus gas-free boating.
The short drive from Chattanooga over to the Ocoee offers many overlooks to see beautiful mountain settings and take in the turning leaves along the 26-mile OcOcoee Scenic Byway, which is designated as US 64 and Forest Road 77. Wildlife is also abundant in this area and is easily seen.
See the Falls
McKamy Lake offers easy access to Benton Falls Trail. The trail is moderate in difficulty and perfect for any level of hiker. It’s a short hike with a great payoff — the beautiful Bentnton Falls, a 65-foot tiered cascade that’s well worth the trek.
The nearby Tanasi Trail System is one of only a few trail systems worldwide designated as an Epic Ride by the International Mountain Bike Association. Featuring more than 20 miles of mountain biking and hiking access, Brush Creek Trail, Bear Paw Loop, the historic Copper Road Trail and the new Rhododendron Trail offer great options for hard-core riders as well as nature lovers looking for a leisurely stroll.