Oconaluftee Island Park, North Carolina

It was a gorgeous sunny day, warm, and balmy – what could be better? I was on my way to hike in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but seeing people joyfully splashing in the Oconaluftee River I became a bit conflicted. I love the water and wanted to join them. I noted the location, Oconaluftee Island Park [US-441, Cherokee, NC 28719] is under 10 minutes from the Oconaluftee Visitors Center in the national park.

After a long day of hiking, I made my way back. This was the place to soak my feet and achy bones. The water isn’t terribly deep, the bottom is pebbly, and the current is swift – but man did it feel nice and cool.

Pick a side of the river, find a nice quiet spot, and this is a perfect spot for an afternoon of relaxation.

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