I've got the Smokies on my mind now. Ever since my hike up Mount LeConte just over a week ago I've been wanting to go back. It looks like there is still quite a bit of snow up in the mountains though, and so I opted to hike lower down in elevation on the Old Settlers Trail. Besides being less snowy, I've read there is a lot to see along the trail in the way of old home sites. This had me excited for my hike today. I hit the road after 6:30 and drove US321 through Newport and Cosby then over to the trailhead on Baxter Road.
From the cabin it was a short walk to the intersection of the Maddron Bald, Gabes Mountain and Old Settlers Trails. I made a right onto the Old Settlers Trail and started downhill.
From the cemetery I made my way farther along the Old Settlers Trail. Evidence of the former community that once existed here was abundant. I crossed a substantial creek (possibly Dunn Creek) on a footbridge.
The trail descended along a creek
As I continued the signs of human habitation were everywhere. There were lots of tall rock walls lining the trail.
It was sometimes very easy to find the location of an old home. Even if there was not much of the chimney left there might be some yuccas growing near a small rock pile;
Shortly after returning to the Old Settlers Trail I found another tall chimney in good shape.
I followed the highway east past homes, campgrounds, and struggling businesses on my way back to the car. I also passed a cascading waterfall