Scenic USA - North Carolina

Scenic USA offers a collection of select photographs from a wide variety of historic sites, points of interest, and a large
sampling of America's parklands. Each photo feature is coupled with a brief explanation.
For further detailed information, links to other related sites are provided, but in no means should they be considered an endorsement.

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Sunset over Cherokee

Cherokee Sunset - North Carolina

Photo by Thomas Croce
Thomas Croce Photography

     From Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Parkway provides today's sightseers spectacular skyline views for 469 miles. Here at the southern end of this scenic byway, visitors can witness the same breathtaking views as the Cherokee Indians had seen for hundreds of years before Europeans settlers moved into the area. Known then as the land of the blue smoke, the Cherokee Indians occupied portions of six eastern states. The Eastern Cherokee are now limited to a North Carolina Indian reservation that covers a little more than 82 square miles. Today’s Eastern Band members are descendants of a small group of resistors that escaped self-policed marches to Oklahoma from 1835 to 1838, often called the Trail of Tears.
     One of three federally recognized tribes today, the Cherokee Nation offers a gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains, beautiful mountain drives, hiking, and horseback riding. A main source of employment for the tribe is tourism and gambling. Even though tribal leaders emphasized that gambling would be the Cherokee's damnation, the Harrah's Cherokee Casino opened in 1997. Its handsome profits pay to protect the environment, preserve Cherokee heritage and culture, and provide for healthcare, education and housing.      This peaceful Cherokee sunset view, with its endless Smoky Mountain ridges, may convey why Maggie Valley, Asheville, Cherokee, Gatlinburg and Cades Cove are among the most popular tourist destinations in America.


 

 

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