Day Trips: Elkmount and Great Smoky Mountain National Park
Jan 29, 2009
|Hello To All, (3,321)
Well, we are now finishing up our 3rd month back home from the RV road. Over the past month we have been fortunate to be able to make a few trips. As you all know, we returned from a one week road trip down to the Florida Keys, St. Augustine and return.
In the past couple weeks we have had the opportunity to venture a little closer to home. One place in particular was out to the Elkmount Campground. This campground is located inside the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We call the park the "Smokies" for short. You go through Townsend and turn left at the "Y", and then drive about 14 miles along the Little River to the Elkmount turn off.
The Elkmount area, back at the turn of the century (1900), was a very popular summer retreat for the Knoxville and local folks. During that era, several mountain lodges and cabins were built here along the mountain river that flows nearby. The lodges and cabins were used for comercial business up until the mid 80's or so.
The National Park has now shut down the lodges and cabins for commercial use. However, the buildings still stand, and you can tour through them at your own will. The buildings are totally stripped of all furniture and the doors stand wide open exposing the insides to the elements and animals.
It is a place where time stands still. If you close your eyes and imagine you can hear the voices, and smell the smoke from the fireplaces as these folks of long ago enjoyed this piece of heaven on earth in the East Tenn Mountains.
Some folks are trying to muster enough support to restore these old buildings to their former condition and use them as a culture center.
Now....the campground (separate from the lodge and cabins) is active and ran by the park service. Our family had the pleasure of staying at this campground about 15 years ago for a couple of days. All of our immediate family was there doing the camping thing. We sure made a lot of good memories back then.
So, Chris and I decided we would revisit the place and check it out. I have posted some of the photos of our visit. It was a cold day but very bright and sunny. On a follow up visit this past week to the park we found snow and ice. Just a wonderful place to be in the winter time.
If you are not familiar with this place I would recommend for you to visit here and or come and camp. You will enjoy it. The campgrounds are closed in the winter months and reopen in the spring. There are plenty of sites to choose from. Here is the reservation site if you are interested in camping Reservations
As a side note: We are starting our count down for our departure for Charleston, SC. (March 2nd). Over the next few weeks we will ready the COUGAR for travel and our two month stay at Fort Sumter with the US National Park Service. We will actually be vounteering at three National Park Monuments in Charleston. They are: Fort Sumter, Charles Pickney Historic site and Fort Moultrie. Our RV will be located at the Pickney site along with the other volunteers. We will keep you posted on our exact departure date as we get closer to the day.
Chris and I hope you are all doing well and keeping warm. Let us know if you would like some more information on any of our travels or places we are going to.
In memory of DAD.....the adventure continues.........................
Archie, Chris (and Chad the wonder dog)