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Thunder Rock, Tennessee: A Place Where Natural Treasures Abound
By Andrew Regan

The Cherokee National Forest in southern Tennessee is home to a number of fantastic campgrounds for the outdoor enthusiast to enjoy. Thunder Rock, one such campground which runs adjacent to the Ocoee River, is among the most popular destinations for hikers and campers alike. And it's not hard to see why; with a vast array of recreational opportunities and an abundance of natural beauty to offer, what's to keep you away?

At an elevation of 1,040 feet, Thunder Rock offers phenomenal hiking and mountain biking trails with some truly breathtaking views. The campground's two main hiking trails - Thunder Rock Trail and Benton Mackaye Trail - provide access to miles of natural splendour for visitors of all ages. There are seven walk-in sites to the campground, all of which are situated in close proximity to one another, and camping sites include tent pads, tables and cooking grills. The campground is open all year, making it a popular holiday destination for all; a number of people even choose to travel with RVs, enabling them to move easily between surrounding campsites such as Chilhowee, Lost Creek and Quinn Springs.

The nearby Ocoee River provides independent and guided kayaking, canoeing and whitewater rafting opportunities. Visitors may also be interested to know that that Ocoee Whitewater Center, located only one mile from Thunder Rock campground, is the site of the 1996 Olympic kayak and canoe competition. Canoeing, kayaking and rafting rentals are readily available from local outfitters, making it simple for anyone to partake in these terrific outdoor activities.

The campground is equipped with hot showers and toilet facilities for those who plan to stay for a few nights. But rest assured that you do not have to camp out to enjoy the recreational splendours of Thunder Rock. If you're a nature enthusiast but prefer to stay in a hotel rather than to camp out, you'll find a number of fantastic options when it comes to choosing hotel accommodation in nearby cities and towns. Chattanooga, for example, is 58 miles from Thunder Rock and provides all the comforts of a big city, so it's just as convenient to stay in a hotel and simply drive to Thunder Rock for nature excursions during the day.

So whether you're after a day-long nature hike or a week-long camping trip, head to Thunder Rock, Tennessee, where nature is displayed in all its magnificence. Rest assured, you'll come away from the experience feeling relaxed, renewed and rejuvenated.

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