The Other Side of the Smokies

Posted by Deborah Huso on Feb 7, 2010 in Travel Archives |

Palmer Chapel

Palmer Chapel

Next time you’re visiting the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and eager for a peek at the mountains’ human history, skip the traffic jams in popular Cades Cove, and head to the North Carolina side of the park.  The serene and lovely Cataloochee Valley, accessible via a winding gravel road just off I-40 west of Asheville and north of Maggie Valley, provides a haunting look at the park’s human past in what was once the Smokies’ largest settled community.

Front porch of the Caldwell House

Front porch of the Caldwell House

The only thing roaming the woods, meadows, and trout steams of Cataloochee these days are elk…and a few wayward visitors looking to avoid the crowds of east Tennessee….

A long abandoned Bible in Palmer Chapel

A long abandoned Bible in Palmer Chapel

For more detailed information on the history of the Cataloochee Valley, pre-order my new book Moon Smoky Mountains and Blue Ridge online.

The front door at Woody Place

The front door at Woody Place

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