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Cataloochee Area

Cataloochee | Campsite 39 | Campsite 40

Photos | Cataloochee Information

First settled in the early 1830's Cataloochee is still a quiet valley on the fringes of the Smokies. This is where the Blue Ridge Mountains meet the Great Smoky Mountains. Many of the first settlers came here in search of peace and the freedom that wilderness has to offer. Coincidentally, that is the same reason that I like to hike there. The road to the Cataloochee area is dirt, narrow and full of pot holes. The rugged qualities of the road are the source of many visitor's complaints. The positive side of that is that it helps to keep the crowds away from this beautiful, remote valley. Large campers have great difficulty negotiating the winding road, so you wont see many of them. Not hearing the gasoline generators that these campers bring with them is a big plus.

catcov1.JPG (9720 bytes)Most of the houses of this once thriving mountain settlement are gone, however, a few remain for park visitors enjoy. A small guide book is available at the entrance to the park and is recommended if you want to tour these houses. It is interesting to see how the people of Cataloochee combined "modern" construction techniques and materials with mountain "engineering" and local materials. This area was occupied until the Park took procession of this land in the early 1930's.


There are several good hikes around this area. One favorite is the Boogerman Trail. This is a great day hike that features wildflowers and old growth trees. "Booger" Palmer the former owner of this tract of land, would not allow the trees to be logged. The result is a delight for hikers! Huge hemlocks and yellow poplar can be viewed on this 7 mile, hikers only, loop. This is one of the Hiking the Carolinas top ten day hikes.

Read More About the Boogerman Trail>>>

Campsite 39 and 40 are short hikes from the trailhead. Either campsite is perfect for an easy backing trip for beginners or a relaxing trip for the more experienced.


Campsite 39 is 1.2 miles from its' trailhead on Cataloochee Road. It is on the Pretty Hollow Trail and situated next to the creek of the same name. There are many places to pitch a tent here and water is convenient to all campsites. Located in a grove of hemlocks, there is frequent bear activity at this site. Fortunately the Park Service has installed cable devices to hang your pack from.

cat1t.jpg (4949 bytes)Campsite 40 is only a mile from the end of Cataloochee Road. The space at this site is limited to just a few tents. Located next to Rough Fork Creek and in a group of very old Eastern Hemlocks, this is the preferred site of the two. Old Growth trees, a beautiful creek, wildlife and pioneer history make this a great overnight hike.



Cataloochee | Campsite 39 | Campsite 40

Photos | Cataloochee Information

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