Bull Elk Cataloochee Great Smoky Mountains
Bull Elk Cataloochee Great Smoky Mountains

On Day Two of Gary’s adventures exploring our new neighborhood we headed to the Blue Ridge Parkway enjoying views from Waterrock Knob and other overlooks along this scenic highway the park service calls “America’s Favorite Drive”. From there we ventured into Cataloochee, near Maggie Valley, North Carolina, what was once the largest community in what was to become, Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Since it is off the beaten path, Cataloochee today is one of the least visited areas of the park. We enjoyed visiting some of the few historic structures that remain after the the founding of the national park forced the residents to relocate elsewhere. But now there’s another reason to lure visitors here. In February 2001 and again in 2002 the park service reintroduced elk into the landscape. The species which had been prolific in the area prior to the arrival of white settlers had disappeared from North Carolina in the 1700’s. In these eight years ther herd has grown and it’s not unusual to see these great mammals grazing in the meadow early in the morning and again in the evening. Now in November it’s rutting season and as we drove slowly by we were treated to the sound of some of the male elk bugling.

Fork Ridge Overlook Blue Ridge Parkway
Gary at Fork Ridge Overlook Blue Ridge Parkway
View from Waterrock Knob Blue Ridge Parkway
View from Waterrock Knob Blue Ridge Parkway
Waterrock Knob Blue Ridge Parkway
Cataloochee Interpretive Sign
A little about the history of Cataloochee
By a stream in Cataloochee NC
Karen and Gary by a stream in Cataloochee
View from inside a barn in Cataloochee
From inside a barn in Cataloochee
Weathered wood siding on a barn in Cataloochee
Weathered Barn Wood
Caldwell Place Cataloochee
Caldwell Place
Caldwell Place Window View
A view from a window in Caldwell Place
Bull Elk and Harem in Cataloochee NC
Bull Elk and Harem

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