Sunday, April 12, 2015

Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Wonderland Section of Elkmont

With Mom and Dad T out to visit, this would be our day out. We originally had thought a trip to Asheville would be our ticket out of town, but decided to head over to the Smokies because Mom wanted to see some abandoned buildings. We decided on touring the Wonderland section of Elkmont because non of us had ever been there before.

We parked the car near the set of stairs that leads into the unknown
Wonderland stairs
before you reach the Elkmont Campground. We headed up
walking up stairs
and immediately found signs of former habitation: an ring of stone, perhaps a flower planter.
stone circle
Nearby was a rotting hotel building
ruins
and next to the hotel was a flagstone path and set of stairs that now leads to nowhere.
stairway to nowhere
We decided to explore on further
walking thru Wonderland
and soon passed a variety of old vacation homes in various states of decay.
red cabin
peeking in
green cabin
Noelle heads up stairs
Besides interesting decay, we were treated to a nice display of spring wildflowers
pollinator
more wildflowers
and some butterflies.
butterflies
Eventually the old road we were following led to an active gravel road. I figured it must lead to a cemetery and after a short walk we discovered that I was right, the road led right to the Old Elkmont Cemetery.
old Elkmont Cemetery
We toured the graves for a bit
Ogle graveDad exploring cemetery
Brackin grave
and then decided to walk the gravel road back to the car.
family walking road

Along the way we found one more abandoned resort home. This one was covered in graffiti and appeared to be lived in more recently than the others.
graffiti cabin
From the last home it was a short walk back to the paved Elkmont Road and our car.                   

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