a strange irony that one of the most beautiful areas of the Great Smoky
Mountains National Park
also one of the least visited. Although it's a bit out of the way, The
Cataloochee Valley rewards visitors with excellent vistas, historic
buildings, and abundant wildlife.
Located entirely in the
state of North Carolina, settlers
came to this place in the early 19th Century
for its seclusion and fertile bottom lands. Many lived their entire
lives without ever crossing the divide for a glimpse of the outside
Since the inception of the Park in the late 1930's, much
of the area was left to return to its natural state. Only a limited
number of historic structures remain, including two churches and a few
houses and cabins. It takes several days to explore the entire valley so
you might want to stay in the Cataloochee Campground for the complete
Smoky Mountain experience!