Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Great Dreary Day

Thursday April 21st
Elkmont Campground Site A14
Great Smoky Mountains National Park

I was up and out at 7:30
for an hour of yoga on the tent pad
right next to the stream. 
57 degrees is a little cool for good yoga.
Muscles stretch and relax much more
when it’s warmer.

But the atmosphere was
beyond compare. 
Birds singing,
dappled light through the forest trees,
babbling brook……………

Later we ran up the Little River Trail
along the rippling cascades,

around and down the Cucumber Trail
and on to Jake’s Creek Trail. 

It was a beautiful run 
We went a total of 5.8 miles. 
and began right behind the campground. 
Can't be more convenient than that. 

The end of Jakes Creek Trail
drops you off in the
old Appalachian Club
vacation community.

Along with the narrative,
I’ve interspersed pictures
of some of the houses
in better condition. 
You can click on any of these
pictures to enlarge them.

Elkmont was originally a logging town
located where the campground is today.
The club grew up around it
when, after they had logged,  
the Little River Lumber Company
sold land to individuals.

When Tennessee and North Carolina
were acquiring property in the 20’s & 30’s
to create the park,
they bought most of the homes
of the mountain people outright
but the wealthy club members
negotiated lifetime leases on the properties
in exchange for lower payments. 

Most of the leases ended in 1992.
At that point there was a real controversy
about removing all the structures
and letting the area return to its native state. 

While the structures sat, the committees met
and met and met.
The last two leases ended in 2001.
The committee was still meeting.

 In 1994 Elkmont was named
a National Historic District
which afforded it special status.

 After being ignored for nearly 20 years,
some of the buildings are now being “stabilized”.  


Many of them have become overgrown

and have deteriorated far too much over the years
to be stabilized much less restored.

and those that are being “stabilized”
are requiring much more
effort and money
to do so now than they would have
had they been kept up in the first place
nearly 20 years ago. 

As a taxpayer, and a serious environmentalist,
I found it irritating
that these perfectly darling cottages,
such a potential source of rental revenue
for the park, were ignored.
Especially since all our parks are
ALWAYS suffering from lack of


The cottages are immediately adjacent
to the campground
so little “environmental impact”
would have been required to simply maintain them.  


This final picture shows the
"main" road of the community

I wish they hadn’t paved the road
in front of the houses. 
I think dirt or even gravel
would have been more in keeping
with the time of the resort.

<speaker falls off soapbox>

We plan to come back another day
and just hike the trails themselves.
Pretty difficult to get good pictures of the water
and the abundance of wildflowers
while you are running. 

Water is up
and so are the flowers. 
This is a GREAT time of year to be here
in Great Smoky Mountain National Park.

So far, the predicted rain
has come only at night – Lucky David again??? 
Today was cool,
very cloudy,
and only got up to 66. 
Might have been a
“dreary day”
had we not been in such a
spectacular setting.



  1. WOW!! I absolutely LOVED the pictures. Thank you for sharing. What a beautiful place...sigh! Cheers! ~M

  2. Gorgeous!! What a wonderful place for yoga and a run!!

    Life is good!!!

  3. Spectacular pictures, Sherry. I have to agree with you about the houses. Seems like a real missed opportunity.

  4. Yes, you are really, really lucky!!


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