Hiking the Smokies: Little River Trail

Little River Trail
This weekend we took some time to go relax and rejuvenate in the Mountains.  We decided to head up to the Elkmont area to hike the Little River Trail.  The trail in its entirety is 6 miles long.  It follows the old railroad bed of the Little River Railroad.  It makes a nice, wide walkway, with a grade that is not too steep.  Perfect for a casual hike with kids.
 I love to hike in the winter, with the leaves off the trees you can see places that you would miss in the summer.  At the beginning of the Little River Trail you wander through the remnants of the “Appalachian Club”.  In the early 1900’s the Little River Lumber Company sold land to individuals who then built vacation cottages.
As you hike you can look at the cottages that remain and image what it was like 100 years ago to come and stay in this beautiful area.  It is such a quaint place to experience.
With the Little River raging with powerful beauty on one side along the opposite slopes you will often find sweet little waterfalls.  I found that there was many different varieties of moss along this hike, which along with the quaint cottages gave it a Fairy Garden like feel.  It was a beautiful stretch of mountain glory.
From the Townsend “Y” go left.  In about 12 miles the sign for the Elkmont campground will be on the right.  Turn right and follow the signs for the Little River Trail.

From Gatlinburg:  Go 4.9 miles from the Sugarlands Visitors Center.  Turn left into the Elkmont Campground.  Follow the signs to the trail head.



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