Oconaluftee River - Exploring My Life

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Oconaluftee River

Oconaluftee River, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Oconaluftee is the name of a river valley in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina, located in the Southeastern United States. Formerly the site of a Cherokee village and Appalachian community, the valley's bottomland is now home to the main entrance to the North Carolina side of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

In the shadow of Great Smoky Mountains, right at the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, you’ll discover the Oconaluftee River. The "Luftee," as it is known locally, is a beautiful freestone river that flows right through downtown Cherokee, North Carolina and Qualla Boundary, the homeland of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. 

The Cherokee have traditionally honored the Oconaluftee as "sacred waters" and the river continues to play an important role in Cherokee life and culture.

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