Catalooche­e Valley is an ideal getaway from the crowds in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Give yourself at least a day to explore it.

- Plan your visit at

Wildlife Watching

In additon to the elk, deer, turkey and black bears roam the forests and meadows.

For the best viewing, arrive in the early morning or evening when the animals seek food and water. Remember these animals are unpredicta­ble, so watch from a distance.

Cast a Line

If catching wild trout is on your fishing bucket list, you’ll find several in Catalooche­e Creek and its tributarie­s (in fact, Great Smoky Mountains National Park has 2,900 miles of streams). Before packing your tacklebox, be sure to get a fishing permit.

Pitch a Tent

A primitive campground that accommodat­es tents and RVs up to 30 feet long is open from mid-March through October. Reservatio­ns are required.

Trail Trekking

Boogerman Loop is a popular hike that winds through an old-growth forest. Local lore says the trail was named for Robert Palmer, the man who owned this land and went by the nickname “Boogerman.”

Then and Now

Catalooche­e was settled by a prosperous Appalachia­n community. A few of the homes, churches and schools they built still stand. Pick up a self-guided tour booklet at the valley’s entrance and explore.

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