Exploring the Ghost Town of Elkmont in the Smoky Mountains

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to explore a ghost town?​ Well, look no further than the Smoky Mountains, where you can discover the hauntingly beautiful abandoned town of Elkmont.​ Nestled in the heart of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, this ghost town is a unique attraction that offers a glimpse into the past.

The History of Elkmont

Elkmont was once a bustling logging community in the early 1900s. The town attracted settlers٫ loggers٫ and tourists looking for a mountain getaway.​ Wooden homes٫ cottages٫ and clubs were built٫ creating a vibrant resort town. However٫ as time went on and the logging industry declined٫ Elkmont began to lose its charm.​

Becoming a Ghost Town

In 1934, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was established, and Elkmont was included within its boundaries.​ Over time, the town fell into disrepair, becoming a ghost town.​ Today, the eerily quiet streets and dilapidated buildings of Elkmont serve as a reminder of its former glory.

Exploring Elkmont

Despite its abandoned status, Elkmont is open to the public for exploration.​ Visitors can wander through the town and imagine what life was like during its heyday.​ As you stroll along the streets, you’ll come across historic buildings and remnants of the past.​

One of the must-see sites in Elkmont is the Appalachian Clubhouse.​ This iconic building was once a social hub for the wealthy vacationers who frequented the town.​ The clubhouse has been restored and stands as a testament to Elkmont’s past.​

Another notable structure is the Spence Cabin, which offers a glimpse into the lives of the wealthy tourists who flocked to Elkmont; This rustic cabin has been preserved and gives visitors a sense of the luxurious accommodations that were available.​

Getting to Elkmont

To visit Elkmont, make your way to Sugarlands Visitor Center, located off US-411 in Gatlinburg.​ From there, take Fighting Creek Gap Road, which will lead you to Elkmont Road.​ Follow this road for approximately 4.​5 miles until you reach the ghost town.​

Tips for Exploring

When visiting Elkmont, it’s important to remember that you are exploring a historic site. Please be respectful and mindful of the fragile nature of the buildings. Take nothing but photographs and leave nothing but footprints.

It’s also a good idea to bring water, snacks, and comfortable walking shoes, as you’ll be spending time exploring the town and its surroundings.​ Additionally, be aware of any posted signs or restrictions to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.​


Exploring the ghost town in the Smoky Mountains is truly a unique experience.​ Elkmont offers a glimpse into the past and the opportunity to wander through a once-thriving community.​ So, put on your walking shoes and prepare to step back in time as you explore the hauntingly beautiful ghost town of Elkmont.​

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