Saturday, Jul 20, 2024

The Cherokee

9180 TN-68, Tellico Plains, TN 37385

Tellico Plains, TN 115k, 55k

Registration closes: Thu, Jul 18 @ 11:59PM ET


As we are still waiting for permits, we would like to give a update. Permits were submitted earlier this year and we have been in contact with the Forest Service and Ranger Andrew. We were notified that one 0.5 section was a issue and a reroute needed to be submitted. We planned a reroute, but before we submitted we went and ran this reroute to ensure the route was runnable and accessible. You can find the reroute on our strava if you look hard enough ?? We have submitted the reroute and are awaiting approval. Just to be transparent this reroute does add 6 miles to both distances of the previous115k and 55k. Times and cutoffs will be adjusted based off from this. Thank you for considering this event and we can't wait to see you out there!

The Cherokee Ultra

As we sat down and discussed what the name for this event should be a few names came across our minds, but one kept standing out and show casing multiple aspects of the area. These lands have a significant meaning and a deep history that should not be forgotten,but respected and honored. So..... we chose The Cherokee, it represents the area (The Cherokee National Forest) and it honors the Cherokee people who have such a significant history to the area!

The Cherokee is more than just a race; it's an opportunity to learn about and appreciate the Cherokee People and the lands they once ran freely. We will be incorporating educational components and highlighting historical sites throughout the event to bring awareness of Cherokee and local history, culture, and the enduring connection to the Cherokee National Forest. Our goal is for every participant to leave with a deeper respect for these lands and their original stewards.

Welcome to the newest endurance event.
The Cherokee Ultra by way of The Warriors passage. This will be a 130k and 55k mountain trail event.

Utilizing some the most scenic and technical trails in the Southern Cherokee National Forest.

As we utilize the 130k and 55k for the first year. 2025 comes the Cherokee endurance event. Running on the same trail as the 130k and 55k but branching off for even more technical and beautiful miles.

55k 7k+
130k 15k+

Future 130 plus miler 22k+


We couldn't put on these events without our sponsors.
Thank you to

Salty Britches
Greater me
Allegiance Flag Supply

Thankful for the local Emergency agencies helping with this event.

Monroe county Rescue Squad
Monroe county EMS
Monroe County Amateur Radio Emergency Services
Town of Tellico
Tellico Police
Tellico Fire
Forest Service

We will also be taking donations for those Response services as well.

As well as for
Isaiah house 117
And the trail work crews in the area!

Course description

Home base camp will be utilized at the beautiful Tellico Plains high school.(A small town with a bigbackyard)

The Cherokee event will start in Tellico and head up the skyway and then take a right onto old furnace road (service road) from there you will climb until you connect to the Warriors passage trail. From there you will have multiple creek crossing and some strong accents. You will climb to the top of Waucheesi Bald sitting at over 3000 ft. As we like to say Waucheesi ain't Easy!
Once you ascend the mountain you will drop off the backside through a connecter trail to the Benton Mackaye trail heading to the Unicoi mountain trail. This is a very runnable section. These trails run past parts of the original Unicoi turnpike (AKA Joe Brown Highway) used by the Cherokee and other travelers. This is also historically the path used as part of The Trail of Tears!

From there you continue to Unicoi cap aide station and on up buck bald sitting at over 2000 ft. This with be a main aide station with medic, porta potties, stretching and food/hydration.
You then come down Buck Bald and continue on the BMT/Unicoi Mountain trail toward highway 68 and cross over heading toward the Hiwassee river. These next few miles are runnable and lead you to the next aide station at a camp ground next to the actual Coker creek.

As you head out from there you now be on the BMT/John Muir National trail. You will begin to climb and over look the beautiful Hiwassee river. You will continue to run this section crossing small streams,creeks, and springs until you descend to the lower levels and run along side the Hiwassee river. Upon reaching the next aide station (Towee Creek) from there your just a short run to Reliance and the turn around point for the 130k and the start of the 55k.

The 55k will meet in the town of Tellico at base camp,and will be bussed to Reliance and dropped off to begin the treck back to Tellico! You will follow the same route back to Tellico as the 130k.

Permits and waitlist/lottery

Calling All Adventurous Ultra Runners: Gear Up for the Cherokee Ultra (But Register Now for Waitlist/Lottery!)

Mark your calendars for February 20th, because The Cherokee by East Coast Adventures is gearing up for an epic adventure through the breathtaking Southern Cherokee National Forest. This challenging 115k/55k mountain trail race promises stunning scenery, technical terrain, and an unforgettable experience.

However, before you lace up your shoes, there's an important note: permits are still pending. This means that registration is currently open, but spots are limited to a waitlist. By registering now, you'll be among the first to be notified when permits are finalized and you meet the eligibility requirements. If all goes well, you'll receive an exclusive invitation to join the race!

Here's what you need to know:

• Race Date: July 20th (subject to permit approval)
• Registration opens February 20th

• Distance: 130k / 55k

• Location: Southern Cherokee National Forest, Tennessee /Tellico Plains / Reliance TN

• Terrain: Technical mountain trails with creek crossings and elevation gains

• Current Status: Register now for waitlist (spots limited 100)

• Next Steps: After permits are finalized and eligibility is confirmed, you'll receive an invitation to join the race

• Eligibility must of completed a 50k or greater in the last 18 months.

Don't miss out on this chance to conquer The Cherokee 115 ! Register today and secure your spot on the waitlist. We'll keep you updated on the permit status and notify you as soon as invitations are sent out.

Ready to answer the call of the wild? Register now!

P.S. Share this announcement with your fellow ultra runners and spread the word! The more the merrier (once permits are approved, of course).

No Charge for the waitlist. Once permits are approved you will be sent an invitation to the event and upon acceptance then you will be charged!

Aide Stations

Start 130k
Tellico plains

1)Old Furnace road water station only. No crew

2) Waucheesi Bald. No crew

3) Unicoi Gap No crew.

4) Buck Bald. Crew and pacers allowed. Drop bags

5)River Campsite. No crew

6) Towee Creek No crew

7) Reliance Crew/Pacer.115k Drop bags. 55k start


With this being a true Mountain ultra event,we will have enforced cutoffs and requirements to participate in the Cherokee 130k and 55k.


Must carry a water filtration system( Flask,bottle or straw)

Must download Gpx file to Watch and or Phone.

Waucheesi Mountain:
Unicoi Gap:
Buck Bald:
River Campsite:
Towee Creek :

Towee Creek:
River Campsite:
Buck Bald:
Unicoi Gap:
Waucheesi Mountain:

Due to the remoteness of this event,there will be strict cutoffs to ensure each participants safety and to ensure event staff and volunteers can provide each participant with the attention they deserve.

130k TBD because of reroute
55k must reach Waucheesi Mountain aide by TBD because of reroute!


Awards will be presented to the top three Male and Female for the 55k and 130k.

The 1st place finisher of the Male and Female in the 55k and 130k will also receive a free entry into the 2025 Cherokee 100+ miler.

Swag items and shirts are guaranteed for all participants who registered before JUNE 10th. After that date it will be until we run out.


The Cherokee National Forest is a United States National Forest located in the U.S. states of Tennessee and North Carolina that was created on June 14, 1920. The forest is maintained and managed by the United States Forest Service. It encompasses an estimated area of 655,598 acres

You can have an adventure while on Warriors Passage! This is the trail that Cherokee Indians

and British Soldiers followed almost 300 years ago. A group of Knoxville Scouts reopened the

trail for your use in the 1960s. It was used by the Cherokee as they traveled between their

villages in western South Carolina and in eastern Tennessee and by the soldiers who built Fort

Loudoun in 1756.
Check out our other race Fort Frenzy to experience this part of history at the Fort loudon historic park.

The John Muir National Recreation Trail (#152) trail in eastern Tennessee, along the north side of Hiwassee River in the Cherokee National Forest. It is named after naturalist John Muir and was constructed in 1972 through the efforts of the Youth Conservation Corps and the Senior Community Service Employment Program. The trail is said to follow the path taken during Muir's travels from Kentucky to Florida in his book A Thousand Mile Walk to the Gulf. In it, he wrote:

(My path all to-day led me along the leafy banks of the Hiwassee, a most impressive mountain river. Its channel is very rough, as it crosses the edges of upturned rock strata, some of them standing at right angles, or glancing off obliquely to right and left. Thus a multitude of short, resounding cataracts are produced, and the river is restrained from the headlong speed due to its volume and the inclination of its bed.

All the larger streams of uncultivated countries are mysteriously charming and beautiful, whether flowing in mountains or through swamps and plains. Their channels are interestingly sculptured, far more so than the grandest architectural works of man. The finest of the forests are usually found along their banks, and in the multitude of falls and rapids the wilderness finds a voice. Such a river is the Hiwassee, with its surface broken to a thousand sparkling gems, and its forest walls vine-draped and flowery as Eden. And how fine the songs it sings)

The Benton Mackaye Trail
The Benton MacKaye Trail or BMT is a footpath nearly 300 miles (480 km) in length in the Appalachian Mountains in the southeastern United States and is blazed by a white diamond, 5″ across by 7″ tall. The hiking trail was created and is maintained by the Benton MacKaye Trail Association, and it is named for Benton MacKaye, the Massachusetts forester and regional planner who first had the idea for the Appalachian Trail in 1921.[1][2]

The BMT runs from Springer Mountain in Georgia (sharing the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail) to Big Creek[3] in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The trail passes through seven United States Wilderness Areas, while traversing three states (Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina). The lowest elevation (765 ft) on the BMT occurs at the crossing of the Hiwassee River in Tennessee. The highest elevation is the 5,843-foot (1,781 m) summit of Mt. Sterling in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina.

The trail crosses various trout rivers along its path including Shallowford Bridge and the Swinging Bridge over the Toccoa River in Georgia, the Ocoee, Hiwassee, Upper Bald and Tellico rivers in Tennessee, and the Little Tennessee River in North Carolina. It also crosses Eagle, Hazel, Forney, Noland and Big creeks in the Smokies, along with Fontana Dam and the Oconaluftee River.

Event's current local time: 11:04 AM ET

Linked Events

Start Times

Ask a Question