The 30 minutes allotted for walking the trail does not take into consideration the time needed for looking at the historic buildings. You could spend a couple of hours in total, depending how closely you examine the old structures. In the spring, wildflowers are in abundance throughout the property.
The surface is a typical mountain trail of packed dirt with occasional roots and gravel. The trail is one mile long and nearly flat, so it is family friendly. Most people can complete the hike in 45 minutes or so. This is a great introductory trail for a hiking newbie. Look for it at the Sugarlands Visitor Center.
The historic Little Greenbrier Schoolhouse is just a short hike up Metcalf Bottoms Trail. Continue on via the Little Brier Gap Trail to visit the homestead of the last residents of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Walker Sisters.
CATALOOCHEE VALLEY, NC (GSMNP) - By the early 1800’s, mountain farming communities sprang up throughout the Smoky Mountains. Utilizing trails created by the Cherokees, farmers made their way to areas previously hunted and farmed by the Indians, and built homes there.
Although Cataloochee Valley is the most remote of the Appalachian farming communities, it became the largest and most prosperous, reaching a population high of 1,251 people.
GATLINBURG, TN (GSMNP) - The narrow road contributes to the feeling you are hiking on a trail, but without the exertion. Trees rise to the sky mere inches from the road and the canopy provides shade for the drive. White-tail deer and black bears roaming around is not unusual. More than 1,500 black bears are home in the Smoky Mountains, and you may see one or two.
Several historic buildings are situated along the trail. Homer Bales Barn, Alex Cole Cabin, Reagan Tub Mill, and Ephraim Bales Cabin are points of interest you may want to explore. While some visitors remain in their cars, we recommend getting out and enjoying a walking tour.
OCONALUFTEE, NC (GSMNP) - Rather than lose the local mountain culture to the past, land was set aside so farm homes, barns, meat houses, and other remnants of the farm life would live on. The Oconaluftee Mountain Farm Museum was born.
The buildings were moved from their original locations throughout the Smoky Mountains and brought together in one place. As you wander around the grounds, you will see original structures and a few reproductions.