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Mingo Falls. A five-minute hike from the Mingo Falls Campground will reward you with a view of the beautiful 120-foot-high Mingo Falls. Mingo Falls is on the Cherokee Indian Reservation (Qualla Boundary), just outside the Great Smokies park. Big Cove Rd., about 4 mi north of Acquoni Rd., Cherokee, NC, 28719. 800/438-1601 Cherokee Welcome Center. www.visitcherokeenc.com.
Oconaluftee Islands Park & Trail. In the downtown area of Cherokeee you can cross the Oconaluftee River on a footbridge to the well-kept Oconaluftee Islands Park & Trail. The park has nice picnic facilities and and walking trails. In warm weather, you can wade, tube, and swim in the river. On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings in summer there's a bonfire and often a Cherokee story teller. Free admission. Tsali Blvd., Off U.S.Hwy. 441, across from Cherokee Elementary School, Cherokee, NC, 28719. 800/438-1601 Cherokee Welcome Center. www.visitcherokeenc.com. Free.