October 29, 2013 – On the way to the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail, you’ll pass by the Noah “Bud” Ogle Cabin on Cherokee Orchard Road, about 2.5 miles from Gatlinburg.
I stopped here a few times and found it the most picturesque when surrounded by the colors of fall.
Unusually large for its time, this is the last remaining four pen barn in the park.
In spring, when the dogwoods were blooming were breathtaking as well.
Pretty sparse living quarters, built in the late 1900’s in the style called “saddlebag” where two cabins share a single chimney. The two sides were not built at the same time, but added onto to accommodate a growing family.
A short (1/2 mile), but rocky loop nature trail starts to the side of the cabin and I couldn’t resist. Pick up a self guiding booklet that will tell you about the trees (large hemlock and yellow poplar) alongside the banks of LeConte Creek. The Ogle property originally consisted of 400 acres, including a large apple orchard. The Roaring Fork area was one of the most difficult to farm due to the fields of boulders.
Rustic bridges like these get you across the creek without getting your feet wet. This day was pretty dry, but I always love these kind of bridges and scenic spots.
Built in the 1800’s and restored in the 1960’s, this mill is the park’s last surviving operational tub mill. The cabin was one of few in the area that had running water, naturally pumped into the house from the spring.
I sat here a while just soaking in the muted sounds of nature, surprised at how quiet it was so close to the bustling downtown of modern Gatlinburg.
Another rustic bridge to cross and you’re back to the cabin.
I thoroughly enjoyed this little trek and was going to do it again when I returned in the summer (July 2014), but found out the cabin and trail were closed due to bear activity. A couple of women encountered a bear on the trail who was not deterred by their efforts to shoo him away and followed them all the way back to Cherokee Orchard Road. I later heard the bears were attracted to the wild cherries in the area, and I was glad I didn’t have that kind of close encounter.
It was pretty peaceful for me and I couldn’t resist capturing a little of the sounds that accompanied me on the trail.