Our Days in The Mountains

You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so…get on your way. – Dr. Seuss


Today is Thursday the 14th and we’re on our way. Our 1st stop was at the “Bud Ogle Farm” located just outside of Gatlinburg.  When you start on the path it takes only a few minutes to get to the house.

The log home was built by Noah “Bud” Ogle, a descendant of the original Ogle family that settled in White Oak Flats, now known as Gatlinburg. Arriving in the very early 1800s, the Ogle’s became the first homesteaders to settle in the White Oak Flats area. Born in 1863, Noah established this 400-acre farm in 1879, and began building the house in the early 1880s. Architecturally, the cabin is known as a “saddle-bag” house, which means it consists of two houses joined by a common chimney. According to the National Register of Historic Places nomination form, this is one of the rarer floor plans used in the Smokies.




Noah,  his wife and their eight children lived in the house.


Smile for the camera 🙂

Just past the cabin the trail goes over two small brooks, and then passes through the former pastures and corn fields that were once maintained by the Ogle family.  And l always have to remind myself that there were hardly any trees on his property




This is the Ogle “tub” mill, which was used to grind corn into meal for the family and other settlers in the area. Built around 1885, the mill was powered by water from LeConte Creek, which was fed by an 80-foot log flume. This system which was used to generate power for the mill was fairly typical for homesteaders in the Southern Appalachians at that time.




After that comes the barn, which was known as a “drove-through” barn because you could drive or park your wagons in the covered middle section of the barn. The barn includes four log pens that were used for livestock, such as dairy cows and draft animals. Chickens and pigs were also raised on this farm.

The Ogle Family did everything. They raised the plants and animals they ate.  They grew fruit trees and had pens with hogs in them.  The thing that they really liked was the Chestnut trees cause everyone loved the nuts and even traded them for shoes and such. They didn’t have any need for an a thermometer they just looked at rhododendron leaves.  As the temperature drops to freezing the leaves begin to darken in color and droop.  Around 20 degrees they start to curl, and by 0 degrees they are rolled up tight and turn black.


The weather was perfect when we were there as you can tell by the leaves! They don’t lie.

Because Wednesday we walked a little over 5 miles we thought we would take it easy. So we did the Ogle Farm Trail and then we were going to just drive around the outer loop and stop at look out points. But due to the virus, that part of the park wasn’t open yet.   So we took The Rainbow Falls Trail.


The Rainbow Falls Trail is about 6 miles roundtrip and is considered moderate in difficulty. However due to the length, elevation gain, and rocky terrain in sections of the trail, some visitors may rate the hike as difficult. It takes about 3-5 hours to hike to the waterfall and back.  

We didn’t realize the difficulty at the time and even thought maybe it was 3 miles roundtrip.  And we weren’t wearing proper shoes and didn’t have any water with us.  But being both stubborn and not to smart we continued ……


We asked people coming down how far it was and they would say oh about 30-40 minutes when we thought we were almost there.  But we continued on.

Some smaller Falls we passed on the way up.


I think from this point someone told us it was about 15 minutes! yepeee!!








We made it! And we were so glad we did!



Taking the trail back we were excited when the trees were on ground level like us.



We finished the trail, I am proud of both of us!   Different parts of our bodies were sore, and some different parts hurt the next day. We hiked about 7.5 miles which isn’t a lot, but when half of it is up hill it gets harder when you get older like us, but it was worth the trip!

When everything feels like an uphill struggle, Just think of the view from the top.” – Anonymous Hiker




It’s Friday Morning in The Great Smoky Mountains!

Dave picked an easy trail for us today, nothing to strenuous.                                                “The Sugarlands Valley Nature Trail is definitely not a full-bore, knee-busting outdoor challenge. It is flat, paved and about a half-mile long. It is designed to be all access – the only trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to be so designated.”









The last trail we took was a Quiet Walkway trail


The Trail went through a section of the Sugar Branch Trail



Dave is thinking….I know she is taking another picture of my behind, She seems to do that a lot!






The Mill was built by Andrew Jefferson Ely in 1925. Ely’s Mill is one of the few remaining pieces of “Old Gatlinburg”. Privately owned, it is still run by the original family who live on site. They are in the works of getting the mill up and running again. At the time he hired craftsman to build the mill and a showroom to sell their wares. It had everything you can think of from furniture to weaving. The water wheel powered the machinery for the furniture shop. As the place grew more buildings were added, a blacksmith shop and they even had a bee keeper. In 1940 Ely’s Mill had grown to almost 20 buildings. Now the mill features local crafts, antiques, and honey, as well as two over-night rental cabins and weddings tale place here too.  A neat place tucked inside The Smokys.






I just love this fence. I think I’ll take a few of my belongings and stick it on a fence too!



Our last stop and one of the Best Stops, a look out view of The Smokys.



We were lucky, we had an amazing view.  Some people were saying it was because of covid-19, the park wasn’t open and so there was no pollution.  It just opened up the weekend before we got there.



To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, to roam the roads of lands remote, to travel is to live. – Hans Christian Andersen


3 thoughts on “Our Days in The Mountains

  1. Sandy

    Wow! I want to join you! You found some great trails. I’m pretty sure that fence was a desperate measure for the wife of that property, when her hubby wanted to ‘clean house’. Haha

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