Jonesborough Cherokee NF KOA- A Peaceful Campground With Amazing Views

Camping by the Nolichucky River Tennessee

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Last Updated on October 5, 2021 by Lori

Looking for a quiet and peaceful campground that has full hook-up and RV sites along a river? Jonesborough/Cherokee NF KOA in Tennessee has just what you are looking for!

The campground is perfect to come back to after exploring all the attractions that Tennessee and North Carolina have to offer!

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Big Rig Friendly campground Jonesborough Cherokee NF KOA Tennessee
Jonesborough/Cherokee NF KOA. Photo by L. Andrews

Why We Camped At Jonesborough/Cherokee NF KOA

One of the first things I did when planning our trip to the Great Smoky Mountains was to make a list of all the attractions we wanted to see.

The list was long! Plus I realized our top things to do were in both North Carolina AND Tennessee and they were hours apart from each other.

We had visited The Great Smoky Mountains a few years earlier and knew that one of the busiest (and most popular) places to camp is Gatlinburg, TN.

These campgrounds are great for families with kids and have tons of activities.

Another popular camping option is to camp inside the Great Smoky Mountain National Park itself.

Cades Cove is a well-known and popular campground in the park. But we felt that on this trip, we really wanted to have full hookup.

So we continued to search for camping options.

After studying the map and marking the areas where our “Top Things To Do” were located, it seemed that camping in Tennessee could act as a central location for us.

That’s when we found Jonesborough/Cherokee NF KOA.

Jonesborough Cherokee NF KOA Entrance
Entrance To Jonesborough/Cherokee NF KOA – A Journey KOA Campground. Photo by L. Andrews

Jonesborough/Cherokee NF KOA Campground

The Jonesborough/Cherokee NF KOA is considered a Journey Campground

According to KOA, Journey campgrounds are conveniently located near highways, offer long pull-through sites, have well-lit after-hour check-in serve, and offer a robust line of RV supplies. “They are great places to unwind and relax before the next leg of your journey.”

The perfect description of this campground – and just what we were looking for!

Cabin Camping in Tennessee
Unique Cabin Camping in Tennessee. Photo by L. Andrews

While the campground doesn’t have the resort activities you will find in other KOA campgrounds, it is a clean, pretty, well-maintained campground that met all our expectations!

We camped here for four (4) nights while exploring North Carolina and Tennessee giving us ample opportunity to see all this campground had to offer.

Mike, the owner, told me they had only recently decided to become a KOA Campground (January 2021). But the family-owned campground received 4.5- 5 Stars even before it became a KOA Campground, so we added it to the top of the list and then made a reservation in early January for a July stay.

Jonesborough Cherokee NF KOA Tennessee
Camp Store & Office at Jonesborough/Cherokee NF KOA. Photo by L. Andrews

Contactless Campground Check-In At Jonesborough/Cherokee NF KOA

As we were leaving Outlanders River Camp in Luray, VA, and headed the five hours south to the Jonesborough/Cherokee NF KOA, I received an email from the campground asking if I would like to use Express Check-in so we wouldn’t need to fill out any paperwork when we arrived.

If we wanted to keep the same credit card that we used to make the reservation, we would just sign for the balance due on an IPad they would bring out to our vehicle.

I confirmed our information and clicked “Yes!”

When we arrived at the campground, the staff met us at our truck. They had everything prepared and handed us our parking pass, campground map, and asked us to sign on the clean IPad.

I had read that wood and ice could be delivered to our campsite, so we ordered what we thought we would need for a couple of days.

The Camp Host then led us by golf cart to our site and asked if we needed help backing into the site, which we declined.

Soon, he was back with our wood and ice.

We couldn’t believe our RV Site!

site 34 at Jonesborough Cherokee NF KOA
Site #34 at Jonesborough Cherokee NF KOA. Photo by L. Andrews

Site #34 is right along the Nolichucky River! It was beautiful.

The sound of the rushing water was what we were hoping for and the site was one of the prettiest sites in the campground!

RV site 34 by the Nolichucky River Jonesborough Cherokee NF KOA
Buddy the Golden Retriever at RV Site 34 Jonesborough/Cherokee NF KOA. Photo by L. Andrews

The site was gravel and the area around the site was a mixture of dirt and woodchips – no grass. The site was also level so we did not need additional levelers.

Before making our reservation way back in January, my husband studied the campground map and we paid extra to choose this particular site. Not all campgrounds do this, but at the time of this writing, Jonesborough/Cherokee NF KOA allowed you to do so.

Nolichucky River at Jonesborough Cherokee NF KOA Tennessee
Nolichucky River at Jonesborough/Cherokee NF KOA. Photo by L. Andrews

The Nolichucky River is a Class 2-4 rapids wild river. There is no lifeguard on duty. We did enjoy watching kayakers come through who seemed experienced dealing with the rapids.

The campground bathhouse is secure, and a code is given to registered campers to use them. We did not use them, so I can’t comment on their condition.

The garbage is nicely placed behind a fence so that you don’t see the dumpster.

The campground is well-kept and nicely manicured.

Large campsites at Jonesborough Cherokee NF KOA
Big Rig Friendly at Jonesborough/Cherokee NF KOA. Photo by L. Andrews

Things To Do Near Jonesborough, Tennessee

The campground is near several fast food places and a Walmart which is always convenient when camping for an extended period of time.

There is a major highway nearby, but where we wanted to visit (Grandfather Mountain, Linville, Falls, and areas near The Great Smoky Mountains National Park) that highway was not the “fastest route” and our GPS almost always took us in another direction!

But, as many of you know, we love to travel the backroads of the area we are visiting! and, what we saw were some of the most amazing views of the mountains and small rural towns that we would never have seen driving on an interstate.

Visit Historic Jonesborough, Tennessee

The town of Jonesborough is just ten miles from the campground and is the oldest town in Tennessee. It is also known as the Storytelling Capital Of The World hosting one of the largest storytelling events in the country.

It’s worth the drive to the town of Jonesborough to see the historic buildings.

We also took a drive to Greenville, Tennessee where we visited President Andrew Johnson’s home and National Monument.

Thoughts About Jonesborough/Cherokee NF KOA

Camping by the Nolichucky River Tennessee
RV Camping by the Nolichucky River in Tennessee. Photo by L. Andrews

The Jonesborough/Cherokee NF KOA is a beautiful campground offering large RV sites with full hookup, tent sites, and unique cabin camping.

Sit by the Nolichucky River Tennessee
Sit and Relax by the Nolichucky River Tennessee. Photo by L. Andrews

It was just the type of campground we love to return to after a long day of driving and seeing the sites!

If you are looking for a campground with a pool and lots of planned children’s activities – this is not that type of campground.

However, there is plenty of room for kids to play with a stage, playgrounds, horseshoes plus great fishing and swimming in the Nolichucky River.

Large play area for kids Jonesborough Cherokee NF KOA
Large Play Area for kids Jonesborough/Cherokee NF KOA. Photo by L. Andrews

The friendly staff will go out of their way so you will have a great camping experience!

Jonesborough/Cherokee NF KOA Amenities

3937 Hwy 81 South, Jonesborough, TN 37659 / 423-753-5359 / [email protected]

  • RV Sites (50/30 amp)
  • Tent Sites
  • Camping Cabins
  • Express Check-in
  • Check-in at your RV or Vehicle
  • New KOA (January 2021)
  • Gravel sites/no grass
  • Pull thru/Back-in Sites
  • Smaller campground
  • Pet Friendly
  • Kamp K9-Dog Park
  • Fire Ring
  • New Picnic Tables
  • Wood & Ice delivered to site
  • Friendly Staff
  • Camp Store
  • Quiet Campground

Cons – We couldn’t think of any!

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