Great Smoky Mountains Natl. Park — With its popular campground, scenic hiking trails and more than a dozen preserved vacation cabins as well as the Appalachian Clubhouse, the Elkmont Historic District in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers a little something for all outdoor adventurers.
Like the nearby Little River Trail, Jakes Creek Trail combines natural beauty with opportunities to experience the area's history. A popular trek on this trail is to the Mayna Treanor Avent Studio, also known as the Avent Cabin, a small wooden cabin built in 1850 that was turned into an art studio in the early 1900s.
The hike to the Avent Cabin is ranked with an easy to moderate difficulty level with some elevation gain at roughly 2.5 miles roundtrip.
Early on in the hike, you'll pass stone fireplaces and other remnants of old Elkmont cabins until the trail connects with Cucumber Gap Trail and Meigs Mountain Trail. You'll want to stay on Jakes Creek Trail to reach the cabin, which is down some wooden steps on the right side of the trail.
In total, Jakes Creek Trail is just over 7 miles roundtrip. It ends at Jakes Gap where it separates into Panther Creek Trail and Miry Ridge Trail.
You can learn more about how Elkmont went from vacation spot to ghost town in our series "Elkmont Will Shine."
What to expect on the trail:
Some tips before you visit:
- Let someone know where you plan to hike, when you plan to be back, what clothes you are wearing and what your car looks like.
- Wear sunscreen and bug spray.
- Pack plenty of water and snacks.
- Take a light source with you (preferably not your phone). The park said the number one reason people have to get rescued in the park is not bringing a light.
- Keep an eye on the weather.
- Pets are not allowed on the trail.
- Be courteous to other park visitors.
- Leave the plants and wildlife alone.
- Have a backup plan if the trail is closed or too busy.
- Check on road closures at twitter.com/smokiesroadsnps.