After my hike of Porters Creek, I braved the horrible Gatlinburg traffic and drove over to the Sugarlands Visitor Center to use the restroom. This also provided me an opportunity to finally purchase myself a copy of the definitive hiking trail guide to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park: Hiking Trails of the Smokies, also know as the "Little Brown Book". From the visitor center I made the short drive over to the Old Sugarlands Trail parking area. The parking area is small and was full when I arrived and so I continued on a short distance to a pull off on the other side of the road.
I walked the road for a short distance and then hit the trail after playing Human Frogger in the thick traffic. My destination for this second hike of the day wold be the infamous Sugarlands Rock House. There's a lot of speculation about the structure, but many seem to think it was secretly built by the Civilian Conservation Corps as a place for bigwigs to stay when visiting. I'm skeptical about those claims, but I can offer no better explanation. I printed directions to the rock house off the internet at the Wildlife South website.
There were some wildflowers in bloom along this hike, but not as many as I had seen earlier in the day during my hike of Porters Creek Trail. I saw some yellow trillium,
I followed the road to a point where a bunch of small tree branches had been placed across it. There was an obvious trail here leading to the left. I figured this must be the trail to the rock house, and it turns out I was correct. The trail was pretty well worn and weaved through evidence of former habitation in the area. I approached and crossed a small stream and then steeply climbed the bank on the other side. Then I laid eyes on the rock house.