The Outdoor Recreation Map identifies dozens of parks, forests, lakes, and scenic roads, mountains, and valleys that attract millions of visitors to east Tennessee and western North Carolina each year. The map is designed specifically for individuals, families, and groups who are looking for leisurely or robust outdoor recreation.
The printed map is useful to anyone who is visiting, living in, or simply passing through this scenic 150 mile by 200 mile area. Details are included about camping, hiking, biking, picnic areas, RV facilities, fishing, and more. The map’s broad overview works together with local maps, smart devices, and online resources to give travelers a complete picture of the area. Visit recreationlinks.org/links for links to dozens of helpful resources. Click to download press release. For more information, contact John Innes at 865-659-0903.
Behind every story is a deeper story. This map's story began with a historic collaboration between federal and state public land agencies, plus several non-profit partners. Every individual group has its own mission, budget, and geographical area. Their parks and forests are located near one another but do not overlap. By necessity, each organization's top priority is to promote their own areas and amenities. In no case could any individual group justify publishing a regional map showcasing the full selection of recreation areas.
Professional staff at the Cherokee National Forest urged their partner group to invite twelve area organizations to jointly create a mutually beneficial map. In 2016, project manager John Innes kicked off the project by telling a folk tale in which villagers contributed scraps of food to a pot containing only some boiling water and a several clean stones. Although they had little food to spare, the villagers continued to add individual ingredients until the pot was brimming with a tasty and nourishing soup. In a similar way, the Outdoor Recreation Map provides important information to the public without distracting any of the organizations from from their core missions. The publication of the 2021 edition of the map was made possible, in part, by funding received through the Volkswagen Community Grant Program by Volkswagen of America, Incorporated. Administered by The Conservation Fund.
The original Outdoor Recreation Map received a national award from the Public Lands Alliance for exemplary public engagement. The award recognized the exceptional cooperation between the public lands and their non-profit partners.