Cataloochee Valley is a remote valley in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The valley is noteworthy for two different attractions. First, there is the elk. The elk was reintroduced to the park in the valley after a 100-year absence. That was over 10 years ago, and today they flourish and can be found roaming from eastern Tennessee all the way to downtown Maggie Valley. There is almost a certain chance of seeing the elk in the valley at sunrise and sunset as they graze the pastures. Elk is a large and wild animal that can inflict severe damage with their antlers, so keep some distance. Its also against the law to get close to these animals.
Secondly, the Valley was once a thriving mountain community before the park was created. The trails are dotted with old homes, churches, and barns from over 100 years ago. Some of these sights are only accessible by foot, so to see the valley at its best, bring the hiking shoes.