The first significant artifact that hikers encounter on the trail is this chimney. We originally assumed this was the remains from an old homestead, but have since found out that it was from the barracks at the CCC camp located here.
In this same area we also came across the object below. I assume this is the framing for the camp signboard I've seen described in a couple of internet articles. However, there appeared to be a small water pipe at the top of the arch (can't see it in the photo). Did the signboard include some type of water display or fountain?
Speaking of water pipes, if you do a little exploring off the trail you'll come across several large pipes scattered in the weeds in this same area. I've since learned that the Works Project Administration built a fish hatchery near this location in the 1930s to replenish trout and bass in the mountain streams. Were the pipes used as part of this operation? Did the WPA use the pipes to divert water from nearby Kephart Prong to the hatchery?
Does anyone know what either of these implements were used for:
I also found it quite interesting that the CCC would build their own water fountain:
Further up the trail we came across this large cement block sitting just above the trail. Anyone know what this was used for? I've read in a couple of places that this may have been a cistern. However, I'm not sure that necessarily makes sense, as workers would have used the nearby stream as a source of water. Unless of course the Kephart Prong was contaminated due to all the logging.
Notice the dome-shaped hole at the bottom, as well as the pipe emerging from the ground just below the hole:
A shot of Kephart Prong above one of the foot bridges:
Finally, the Kephart Prong Shelter at the Sweat Heifer Creek Trail junction:
For more in-depth information on hiking the Kephart Prong Trail, please click here.
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