Gold was discovered in 1827 at Coker Creek, located in the high country of Monroe County, Tennessee. Today, sections of Coker Creek in the Cherokee National Forest (CNF) are open for panning. All panners must register and acquire a permit (free) from the CNF. Permits are available at the Coker Creek Welcome Center on Hwy. 68 or the Tellico Ranger Station just off the Tellico River Rd (FS 210).