Oconaluftee Islands Park

Categories: Play, Kid-Friendly, Fishing, Picnic Areas, Outdoor Fun, Parks & Recreation Areas, Fishing for Hatchery Supported Trout, Swimming Holes, Easy Access/Roadside Picnics, Cherokee Indian Reservation


  • Excellent place for kids and large groups with easy access in downtown Cherokee, NC                                     
  • Plenty of space for picnics with both covered and uncovered picnic tables        
  • Very popular area in the Summer months for swimming, trout fishing and tubing in the Oconaluftee River                                 
  • Great trout fishing in the ice cold waters of the Oconaluftee River 
  • Great Swimming/Wading for kids and adults 

The Local Scoop

The Oconaluftee Islands Park in Cherokee, NC is a fantastic oasis for kids and adults alike. 
We recommend this area because of the wide open space on the river for kids and adults alike to splash around and play in.  When the water levels are normal, the river is divided by an island.  This island offers grassy areas for picnics and for kids to run around in and enjoy.  At the park you can find a paved path for walking, trash bins, covered picnic tables, restroooms, 2 bridges that cross the river and piers to feed the ducks and/or fish from. The water is COLD here, so be prepared. 
The water you will be splashing around in comes straight out of the National Park! So, bring your picnic basket, blanket, fishing and swimming gear for a full to half day's worth of fun.                                                                     
If you plan on fishing the Oconaluftee River, you will need a special fishing permit aquired from a number of locations on the reservation.  The permit is $10.00 for adults and children over the age of 12.  Children under 12 are permitted to fish with a permit carrying adult.  Trout limit is 10 fish per day per permit holder.  No other permit is accepted or required to fish on the reservation.

The Local Directions

From downtown Cherokee, NC take U.S. Hwy 441 North towards Great Smoky Mountains National Park.  At 0.2 miles you'll see a sign for Ocunaluftee Islands Park on your Right.  Parking is on the side of the road and is limited.  Access the park by either of the two footbridges over the river.

Back to top

Difficulty Levels

  • Fishing1/1What's this?
35.47875, -83.31947
Cherokee Reservation
Easy via U.S. Hwy 441
Distance From
Great Smoky Mountains National Park:  2.2 miles