Elkmont Nature Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"This is one of the best of the nature trails in the park that focuses on the changing Smokies’ landscape. The path and accompanying brochure do a good job of pointing out the clues to where human activity has disturbed the forest, and of explaining how nature is responding.
The Elkmont Campground area was the site of a major logging operation in the early twentieth century. A logging railroad from Townsend, Tennessee, reached through this area to the heart of the Smokies. The extensive timbering that occurred largely clear-cut the forests, and the trail shows how the wholesale removal of trees has determined where different species have come to dominate in settings that offer them more or less ideal conditions for growth."
--Randy Johnson, Best Easy Day Hikes: Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Falcon Guides).
"This self-guiding nature trail makes a great short day hike for families staying at Elkmont Campground. Grab a copy of the brochure (50 cents to keep) before starting the hike and use it to help interpret the features encountered along the way. This nature trail begins at the south corner of the parking lot. Cross Mids Branch on an asphalt-filled I-beam and wind your way up an old railroad line. Cross an old capped-off spring and then pass around a meadow at an old homeplace. Cross the branch again and climb a south-facing slope, passing through a neat rhododendron and mountain laurel tunnel. A series of short switchbacks brings you back to the trailhead."
--Kevin Adams, Hiking Great Smoky Mountains National Park (Falcon Guides).
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