Lake Hiawassee in Cherokee County NC
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Murphy • Andrews • Brasstown • Peachtree • Ranger • Marble
Cherokee County Western North Carolina

Clusters of mountains collide along the western wall of the Blue Ridge Mountains below the southern shoulder of the Great Smoky Mountains. Long and broad valleys gather rivers and waterways together creating a path whose watersheds flow beyond the western horizon. Steep ancient mountains reach to the sky like rugged stair steps to the heavens. Elongated mountain ridges force narrow peaks out of their crest like that of the red timber wolf's powerful jaw protecting its rightful domain.

Cherokee County North Carolina, in the far western reaches of Western North Carolina is a haven of mountains, valleys, rivers and lakes, offering outdoor adventure to all ages. The county is dotted with historic towns and ancient sites longing to be explored. Mountain ways still survive here at a renowned folk school that has been influencing and inspiring thousands for nearly a  hundred years.

Mountain Vista of Cherokee County

Cherokee County was one of the last strongholds of tribal lands belonging to the Cherokee Nation before their final exodus west along the tragic "Trail of Tears." These native lands still echo the language of the Cherokee people in the names of landmarks, waterways and districts. The high mountains of the Nantahala National Forest border the horizons to the north and east, with Tennessee's Cherokee National Forest to the west and parts of North Georgia's Chattahoochee National Forest to the south.

Three rivers traverse the county's valley floor, joining together at Hiwassee Lake before making Hiwassee River in Cherokee County North Carolinatheir journey to the western valley lands below. The Nottely River flows northward from neighboring Union County, Georgia. The Hiwassee River flows northwest across Cherokee County, finding its headwaters in the northeast corner of North Georgia's mountain country's western divide. The Valley River, which originates in far eastern Cherokee County, flows westward across the mountainous valley regions uniting with the Hiwassee River before merging into Hiwassee Lake in the northern section of the county. This diverse northern backcountry offers an exciting outdoor adventure escape for those looking to getaway from the congested world out into the open spaces.

For the outdoor enthusiast there's camping, hiking, biking, boating, water sports, canoing, kayaking and fishing, along with plenty of white water adventure close by and did I mention scenic driving tours?

Cherokee County is situated between two major white water river gorges. Just outside the west end of the county is Tennessee's wild Ocoee River Gorge. At the eastern end of Cherokee County is the legendary Nantahala River Gorge with both a lower river gorge for white water rafting and kayaking, plus an upper river gorge ideal for fly-fishing with a waterfall canyon setting that you won't believe.

For those who enjoy the more leisure atmosphere, there are picture book mountain towns and communities offering charm, hospitality, shopping, dining and lodging along with numerous historical landmarks marking the scene for Cherokee County's earlier days.

Cherokee County is the last and by no means the least of Western North Carolina's counties, the region is considered a natural gateway to the west, or for eastward bound travels its an access to North Carolina's high country.

The county was established in 1839 as the door closed on the Cherokee people who were given lands west of the Mississippi in accordance to the Treaty of the New Echota, signed in 1835 by the United States government and a small faction of Cherokee leaders.

Cherokee County Courthouse Overlook

Settlers quickly migrated into the region claiming their new lands by lottery, taking up where the Cherokee left off, temporarily living in some of their homes and harvesting fields planted by the former residents. Most of the new arrivals came from Pennsylvania, Virginia and Tennessee. These early settlers were not the first old world visitors or their descendants to visit the area. Historical markers throughout the county tell their tales and lay their claims to local events, historical events the Blue Ridge Highlander will explore in this Cherokee County profile as we visit each region.

Of our many outlets of choice throughout Cherokee County's towns, communities and local attractions we will begin with the historic county seat of Murphy, North Carolina before reaching into the high country and the valley towns along the local river basins.

Art Galleries in Cherokee County NC

Renowned Folk School in Cherokee County NC

Restaurants in Cherokee County NC

Murphy's Chophouse in Historic Downtown Murphy NC
Lunch •  Dinner • Sunday Brunch

Murhy's Chophouse in Historic Downtown Murphy NC

Murphy’s Chophouse is a great addition to Murphy’s “restaurant scene”; it is one of the most exciting restaurants in Murphy North Carolina. Featuring the finest in gourmet cuisine, wines and cocktails, world renowned Chef and Owner, James Reaux provides a fine dining approach and a casual comfortable atmosphere perfect for any occasion.

130 Valley River Avenue  •  Murphy, N.C 28906  •   828.835.3287  •   Chophouse Web Site

Parson's Pub in Historic Downtown Murphy NC
Lunch •  Dinner • Great Beer

The Parson's Pub

We believe in old fashioned, face to face, friendly conversation. You will not find any televisions or loud music. Just a warm place to feel at home and enjoy...

We pride ourselves on our extensive beer menu (over 50!). Talk to one of our "Beervangelists" to help you try a new favorite! If you request a beer we do not carry, we will attempt to get it!

Monday - Saturday    11 am - 10 pm

19 Tennessee Street • Murphy, NC 28906 • 828-837-4151  •  Parson's Pub Web Site

Finish Line Restaurant & Saloon
Breakfast • Lunch • Dinner

Finish Line Restaurant & Saloon

We have something for everyone!!!

We serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and a full bar...on the weekend we have live music...

Tuesday nights Finish Line has Karaoke with DJ Charlie, starting at 7 p.m. and going until 11 p.m. DJ brings professional grade lighting and over 125,000 karaoke tracks, with awireless mics and a whole lot of fun coming up.  Come visit us and

Open 8 am - 2 am 7 days a week - 365 days a year

29 Tennessee Street • Murphy, NC 28906 • 828-837-6681  •  Finish Line's Facebook


Shopping in Cherokee County NC

A Jem's Gem

Conveniently located in the heart of Historic Downtown Murphy, Jem's Gem is an eclectic gift shop specializing in quality. You will find beautiful jewelry and everything you need to make your own. We have a huge selection of jewelry supplies for the seasoned jewelry artist as well as the curious beginner. We have all Natural Gemstone Strands, Swarovski, Findings, Wire Sculpture & Cabochons. If you are interested in learning the art of jewelry making, as seasoned professionals we teach classes.

You will also find Bead Embroidery, Fused Glass, Rocks, Crystals, Fossils, Handcrafted, Native American Spiritual & New Age Items, Books, Gifts & Much More! Visit Jem's Gem to find that perfect gift for any occasion. There's truly something for Everyone!

We were Voted "Best Gift Shop" by the Cherokee Scout's Readers' Choice Award. Come See Why!

Mon-Sat: 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
36 Tennessee St  •  Murphy, NC 28906  •  828.835.7977

Serenity Mountain Gift Shop

Serenity Mountain Gift Shop

Why us? Serenity Mountain is a unique gift shop specializing in Himalayan Salt Lamps and glowing ember baskets ( baskets filled with Himalayan salt chunks and fitted with a dimmer cord). We also carry zen home accents, miniature fairy garden accessories, "hippy" chic jewelry and clothing, Soul Flower Eco-Friendly clothing and yoga wear, incense, sage smudge,Pam's Back to Nature natural skin care products and essential oils, diffusers, oil burners,and many more great gifts with serenity in mind.

At Serenity Mountain, we are focused on providing you with a wide selection of unique gifts  to support a serene lifestyle. We pride ourselves in giving you the highest levels of customer satisfaction & we will do everything we can to meet your expectations. If we don't carry something you're looking for, we will do our best to get it!   With a variety of gifts to choose from, we're sure you'll be happy working with us.  We hope to see you soon!

Tues-Thurs. 10-6  •  Fri. 10-7  •  Sat. 9-5  •  Sun and Mon. CLOSED
35 Tennessee St  •  Murphy, NC 28906  •  828.361.7543

Boating & Marinas in the Western North Carolina Mountains

White Water Rafting Mountains

Zipline Canopy Tours

Guided Fishing Trips

Adventure Camps in the Mountains

Real Estate in Cherokee County NC

Property & Cabin Rental Management

Cabin Rentals & Lodging in Cherokee County North Carolina

Residential and Commercial Builder


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