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Cherokee Reservoir

Plan Your Visit

Hours of Operation
Year-round: 6 a.m. until dark

Map of the park

Detailed directions
To the park | From the park

The campground at the park is accessible to persons with a disability.

Park Activities

Biking Boating Camping Fishing Hiking Trails Horseback Riding Picnic Facilities Swimming

Points of Interest

  Pigeon Forge
  Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Get Involved

   Friends of Panther Creek State Park

Panther Creek State Park, covering approximately 1,435 acres, is located on the shores of Cherokee Reservoir, an impoundment of the Holston River. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is located about 45 miles south.

Legend has it that both Panther Creek and Panther Springs, located about 1 1/2 miles southeast of the park, received their names from the claim of a Colonel Bradley of Virginia who, while exploring the area, shot a panther that fell into the spring.


Cherokee Lake is a beautiful lake for boating. Nearby commercial marinas provide boat launching and rental boats and motors, as well as a bait shop that supplies fishing and picnicking needs.

Tennessee Boating Regulations (exit TDEC)


Panther Creek has 50 campsites complete with water, electrical hookups, grills, picnic tables, fire rings and a bathhouse facility. A laundromat facility is also available.

The two bathhouse facilities provide hot showers, commodes, and lavatories. The campground also has a dump station for self-contained trailer rigs. Campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Maximum stay is two weeks.


Cherokee Lake provides year-round catches of bass, crappie, bluegill, catfish and bream. Rock fishing is particularly good and it is not uncommon to catch 20-and 30- pound fish. There is no park fee for fishing but a valid Tennessee fishing license is required. Nearby commercial marinas provide boat launching and rental boats and motors, as well as a bait shop that supplies fishing and picnicking needs.

Tennessee Fishing Regulations (exit TDEC)
Tennessee State Parks fishing policies

Horseback Riding

Panther Creek offers 7 miles of horseback riding trails with more under construction. You must bring your own horse. There are no camping facilities on the trails. Please stay on the trail and remember to bring current Coggins papers on each horse.

Horse trailers must use the parking area off Panther Creek Road, just to the west of Boat Ramp Road. This area has maps which show the horse trail.

Contact the park for more information.


Panther Creek State Park's large fan-shaped swimming pool opens Memorial Day weekend and is available for your recreation through August 5, 2007. Schedule follows:
Open Monday and Tuesday, 10:30 am - 6:00 pm
Closed Wednesday and Thursday
Open Friday and Saturday, 10:30 am - 6:00 pm
Open Sunday, 1:00 pm - 6:00 pm

There is a high dive, a low dive and a wading pool for small children. A lifeguard is on duty during pool hours.

Aside from lots of nice grassy areas on which to sunbathe, there is also a small shelter for those who want to get out of the sun.


From West on I-40 travel through Knoxville and take Exit 394 (Hwy. 11E North). This is about 35 miles from the park and Morristown.

From North on I-81 take Exit 12 (Hwy 160). Travel North on 160 to Hwy. 11E, turn right and then take the next left. The park is approximately 2.5 miles on the right.

From Gatlinburg, get on I-40 East and take Exit 417 (Hwy. 92). Travel toward Jefferson City. At the light, turn right (Hwy. 11E North). Travel to Morristown and Panther Creek State Park.

Other Activities

The park offers a variety of other activities such as basketball, horseshoes, softball, volleyball, tennis and playgrounds. The two tennis courts open from daylight to dark.

Tour Buses

Tour buses are welcome.