Cherokee is first and foremost a reservation for the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians. This community has turned their proximity to the Smokies, the number of people traveling to the area and the fact that they were allowed to open a casino into a thriving tourism industry making Cherokee a destination in the Smokies.
“Trails of Legends and Adventures”
The Cherokee people have lived in the Smoky Mountains for thousands of years. They were the first people to settle in this area and they had a highly developed culture at the time of the arrival of the first European settlers. As the European settlers increased in number and started to take over the Cherokee land, the Cherokee contracted their territory and at times had physical confrontations with these trespassers. They culmination of the Cherokee confrontation with the US government came through Andrew Jackson’s Trail of Tears that moved the Cherokee to Oklahoma and out of the mountains.
Some of the people in the area stayed however, and those that fought against the oppression and those that came back from Oklahoma were eventually given land by the US Government to form the Reservation at Cherokee, NC. Over time, the town of Cherokee has reinvented itself as times dictated and they are now one of the premier areas to visit in the Smokies. Outdoor adventures, historical reenactments and much more await visitors in 21st century Cherokee.
- 13,432 population
- 2,390 (average altitude)
- 35°28′37″N 83°19′14″W
- Swain County
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