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Monday, February 6, 2012
The Oconaluftee River tumbles from high in the Smoky Mountains until exiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park and eventually flowing through Cherokee, North Carolina. The Oconaluftee River is noted for flyfishing, it contains a healthy population of brown and rainbow trout. US 441 (Newfound Gap Road) follows alongside much of the river as it flows toward Cherokee, I saw this spot from the road and soon joined several photographers at this popular spot; the tree had particularly vibrant foliage that really stood out. Smokemont Campground is located on the banks of this river and is one of the best campgrounds in the park; fairly quiet and beautiful (no showers though), also Kephart Prong trailhead is in this area and starts right from the river. I would encourage a stop a little further down US 441 at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center; in addition, the Oconaluftee River Trail starts at the Visitor Center and takes you along the river into Cherokee. next