It was about noon and the sun shine high in the sky, glistening off the creek running along side the road. Forest covered mountains covered the horizon, their tops covered by the signature low hanging clouds the Smokies are known for.
As I come around the bend, the shoulder is suddenly filled with stopped cars and crowds of people running to the creekside. On the other side, a herd of elf has appeared. Grazing away to their hearts delight.
The Smokies had so much to explore. The hikes are amazing, a simple drive through is scenic and satisfying, but one of my favorite parts was the Mountain Farm Museum. Near the east (Cherokee) entrance to the park is a museum built out of old farm houses and relics that were once built around the park as settlers discovered the area, and now moved here for our enjoyment.
The chicken house, apple house, meat house, and the springhouse (used for refrigeration) were all relocated from various mountain farms. The blacksmith shop moved in from Cades Cove, and two corncribs from Thomas Divide. The barn is the only structure originally located on the site; even then, it moved about 180 meters from the 1880 original construction site. It features nearly 16,000 hand-split shingles. There are numerous other farm buildings , such as a hog pen, sorghum press and still for extracting molasses, an ash hopper used to extract lye for soap, and a woodshed.
A drive through the park will take about three hours with minimal stops for pictures. Most of the NPS areas are located near the Tennessee side of the park making a east to west exploration ending the day on the east side well worthwhile.
Closest Supercharger Knoxville TN 61 mi
11038 Parkside Dr.
Knoxville TN 37934
Great Smokey Mountain National Park