If you’re in the mood to take a day trip into the Smoky Mountains, we can recommend taking a journey to reach Cataloochee Valley in nearby North Carolina. Located about 65 miles from Gatlinburg, this is a historic National Park area similar to Cades Cove in Tennessee and you and your group can truly get a feel for the Appalachians at their most nature here.
Inside the Cataloochee valley are several hiking trails – the Caldwell Fork Trail, the Rough Creek Trail and Pretty Hollow Gap Trail – several backcountry campsites, lots of wildlife (including elk that were introduced in 2001) and several historical buildings like:
– The Hannah Cabin
– The Cook Cabin
– The Palmer House
– The Palmer Chapel
– The Caldwell House
– The Steve Woody House
– The Little Cataloochee Baptist Church
– The Messer Barn
This is a great, educational and wholesome place to bring a couple of all ages. Well worth the trip.
See more on Cataloochee at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cataloochee_(Great_Smoky_Mountains).