Before the national park was established, the Great Smoky Mountains were used as a vacation spot, a place where people lived, and home to various businesses. One of the most well-known historic towns in the Smokies is Elkmont, a region in the upper Little River Valley section of the park. If you’re trying to decide where you should go within the national park, Elkmont should definitely be at the top of your list! Here are 3 places you need to visit in Elkmont in the Smoky Mountains:
1. Elkmont Ghost Town
An intriguing place you’ll definitely want to see if you visit Elkmont is the famous ghost town. While there’s no guarantee you’ll see any spirits while you’re exploring, you might just get an ominous feeling as you’re walking around the abandoned buildings. This little town was known as The Appalachian Club, and it was established in the early 1900s. Wealthy businessmen and their families would come to this resort community to get away from city life and enjoy a quick trip to the mountains. They would swim in the creeks, fish, and just relax while they were staying in these cottages. Today, you can walk around and look at the buildings in the Elkmont Ghost Town.
2. Elkmont Troll Bridge
Another place you’ll want to visit in Elkmont in the Smoky Mountains is the troll bridge. This is a hidden gem since it is off the main path of the Little River Trail, a popular hiking trail located in the Elkmont area. About 100 feet or so into the trail, you will see a small path jutting off to the right. Take this path, and you will come up on the troll bridge. It was built as a part of the resort community in Elkmont, but the origins of the bridge are a bit of a mystery. No one knows who built it or why!
3. Elkmont Nature Trail
If you want to get out and explore in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a great way to do that is go on a hike! An easy hike that virtually anyone can do is the Elkmont Nature Trail. This trail is about a mile roundtrip, and the path is easy to follow. You’ll make your way through the woods, possibly seeing small wildlife along the way! This is a popular trail used for bird watching, as well as seeing wildflowers and photography.
More About Elkmont TN
You’ll love visiting any of these places in Elkmont in the Smoky Mountains. This area is actually considered a historic district of the national park. In the 1880s, a businessman named John L. English started a logging project along the bed of James Creek. Later, another businessman named Wilson B. Townsend purchased land in the area and started the Little River Lumber Company. A temporary camp where workers lived while they were logging was set up in the Elkmont area, and that’s how Elkmont became known for logging.
Now you know a little more about Elkmont in the Smoky Mountains and where you should visit the next time you’re visiting the national park. Want to know what else you should do when you stay with us on your next trip? Check out these other Gatlinburg attractions to get some ideas!