Well, it had to happen at some point.
The Elkmont houses in Great Smoky Mountains National Park are to be demolished. To be specific, the park now has money to make progress on the plans solidified in 2009 to preserve 19 cabins and demolish 55 others.
If you want a little history of how these modern-day houses came to land in the park, you can read my blog or read the full Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) which probably runs in the thousands of pages.
A few years ago, the park refurbished the Appalachian Club and the Spence Cabin shown at the top of this post.
They didn’t have the money to move on the rest of the FEIS. It costs money to tear things down as well.
But the bottom line is that the park is going to stabilize 19 cabins eventually. Right now, they’re working on four cabins to be open to the public.
So as usual, I’m suggesting that you get out there. Once the demolition starts, the park will limit access to the area. They’ll close the Little River Trail and the Jakes Creek Trail.
To get to the Elkmont historic area,
From Sugarlands Visitor Center, take Little River Road for about six miles.
Turn left toward Elkmont Campground which is well-signposted. Follow the road toward the campground. Turn left again at the “Jakes Creek Trail sign” and go up to the parking area. In front of you will be Millionaires Row. Get out, walk and explore.
Take lots of pictures because when they’re gone they’re gone.