Great Smoky Mtns. National Park Travel Guide

Great Smoky Mtns. National Park Sights

Cataloochee Valley

  • Cove Creek Rd. Map It
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park
  • Cemetery
  • Fodor's Choice

Published 07/23/2015

Fodor's Review

This is one of the most memorable and eeriest sites in all of the Smokies. At one time Cataloochee was a community of more than 1,200 people, in some 200 buildings. After the land was taken over in 1934 for the national park, the community dispersed. Although many of the original buildings are now gone, more than a dozen houses, cabins, and barns, two churches, and other structures have been kept up. You can visit the Palmer Methodist Chapel, a one-room schoolhouse, Beach Grove School, and the Woody, Caldwell, and Messer homesteads. It's much like Cades Cove on the Tennessee side, but much less visited. On a quiet day you can almost hear the ghosts of the former Cataloochee settlers. Here you will almost always spot elk, reintroduced in 2001, especially in the evening and early morning. Cataloochee is one of the most remote parts of the Smokies reachable by car, via a narrow, winding, gravel road. The novels of Asheville area native Wayne Caldwell, Cataloochee and Requiem by Fire, bring to life the world of Cataloochee before the coming of the park.

  • Chapel, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

    Danny R. Buxton / Shutterstock

Sight Information


Cataloochee Valley, Cove Creek Rd., Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina, 28751, United States

Map It


865-436-1200-park information line


Sight Details:

  • Often closed in winter due to snow and ice

Published 07/23/2015


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