5 Hidden Gems to Find While Hiking in the Smoky Mountains

November 24, 2020

The Great Smoky Mountains have a ton of incredible hiking trails people love to explore. From mountain views to waterfalls, there are all kinds of cool things to see when you’re hiking in the Smoky Mountains. Want to find something really unusual while you’re hiking? Check out these 5 hidden gems to find while hiking in the Smoky Mountains:

1. House of the Fairies

House of the Fairies in the Smoky MountainsOne of the most unusual sights to see as you’re hiking is the House of the Fairies. This hidden gem is actually an old springhouse of the Voorheis estate. The owner loved to experiment with water power, and the springhouse was one of the creations he made. It is named the House of the Fairies because it looks like a small house covered in moss and leaves. This sight is off of Twin Creeks Trail, a moderate trail that is 4.5 miles roundtrip.

2. Elkmont Troll Bridge

Another hidden spot you’ll want to find while you’re hiking in the Smoky Mountains is the Elkmont Troll Bridge. To find the bridge, you’ll need to hike Little River Trail, which is considered moderate at almost 5 miles roundtrip. About 100 feet into the trail, you’ll see a small side trail. If you follow the side trail, you’ll come across the Elkmont Troll Bridge. This is a bridge made of stone that has moss grown over it. It’s a cute little whimsical spot you’ll love to take pictures of!

3. Steam Engine Wreck

Steam engine and front wheel in the smoky mountainsThere are several spots you’ll find hiking in the Smoky Mountains with old remains. One really cool place is an old steam engine wreck along Grapeyard Ridge Trail. It is considered moderate, and the trail is 5.8 miles roundtrip. About 2.85 miles into the trail, you’ll come across the old steam engine wreck. Apparently the engine is in this spot because the driver was drunk and ran off the rails in the 1920s. It rolled down the mountain and landed in the spot it sits in today.

4. Rusted Cadillac

One more hidden gem you’ll see as you’re hiking in the Smoky Mountains is a rusted Cadillac. This sight is off of Middle Prong Trail, a difficult trail that is about 11 miles roundtrip. At the beginning of the trail, you’ll see beautiful rapids and small waterfalls along the hike. The Cadillac is about 1.9 miles from the trailhead. You won’t be able to see it from the trail, but you will know you’re in the right spot when you see rocks in the middle of the trail. The exact location is 35.61286, -83.64413.

5. Ogle Tub Mill

ogle tub millAnother hidden spot you’ll want to check out is the Ogle tub mill. You can visit Ogle Place, which is an old cabin along Cherokee Orchard Road. You can get out and explore the cabin, but if you walk a little past the cabin, you’ll see the Ogle tub mill. It sits right next to the river, and it’s an interesting contraption. The mill was used to grind corn. It was built in 1885 and powered by the water in the creek.

These are some of the cool things you can see when you’re hiking in the Smoky Mountains. Want to know about some other spots you should hike to? Check out these unique spots to hike to in the Smokies.