Below is an excellent video showing a short history of the Elkmont community in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The community dates back to the early 1900s when the cottages were used as summer homes by the affluent from Knoxville. The video gives a brief history on the establishment of the community as well as the subsequent decline after the National Park Service began purchasing the buildings and land in its efforts to create the park. The video also provides a rare look inside of a couple of the structures which have been off-limits to the public.
The video was posted just over a year ago and shows the dilapidated condition of the community. However, since then, the Elkmont community has begun the process of undergoing some major changes. Facing pressure from historic preservation groups, the park has reversed its policy of allowing the structures to deteriorate and has recently begun emergency stabilization projects on 18 homes, as well as the Appalachian Clubhouse. Eventually the Park Service hopes to restore all 19 structures so they can be viewed by the public. Furthermore, the Appalachian Clubhouse will become a public day use area with educational exhibits.
At this point, the park plans on removing the other 55 buildings and returning their sites to natural habitats.
The Elkmont area is located near the Little River Trail and Cucumber Gap trailheads just outside of Gatlinburg.
HikingintheSmokys.com Detailed information on trails in the Smoky Mountains; includes trail descriptions, key features, pictures, video, maps, elevation profiles, news, hiking gear store, and more.