Visiting the Great Smoky Mountains is a favorite of ours. We ave been there several times throughout the years. One of our favorite places is Cataloochee, North Carolina. Cataloochee is nestled in the mountains of the Great Smoky Mountains. It's surrounded by peaks as high as 6,000 feet. This valley is extremely isolated , but was once a very prosperous settlement in the mountains. While visiting this beautiful valley you will see many historic buildings. You can tour two churches, a school, 19th & 20th century historic houses and frame buildings.
This stunning valley was once home to 1,200 people. They were mostly farmers. Later on as tourism increased, many families turned to boarding visitors and fisherman who enjoyed vacationing away from the big cities.
One of the reasons we love visiting here is the abundant wildlife. You can see turkey, deer, bear, and elk.
Elk were released into the valley back in 2001. Elk once roamed the valley but has since become extinct in the area. The were re-released into the are hoping their population would flourish.
One our visit, we were lucky enough to see 5 different elk. We even walked out onto the back porch of an historic home to find an elk right there. We could have touched him. He looked at us and ten went back to eating.
The historic buildings and land provide a look into what life was like for people in this valley. It gives us a tiny glimpse into days gone by. A time when life was harder, but easier at the same time. Families worked harder together, but were able to enjoy more time together.
"It is the sweet simple things in life which are the real ones after all."
~Laura Ingalls Wilder
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