QUALLA INDIAN RESERVATION
Visitors to the park will be interested in the Cherokee Indians on the Qualla Indian Reservation, which is immediately south of the park. Although the Government has instituted here a comprehensive system of education and modern methods of living, ancient ceremonies and sports are still preserved as racial customs. The Indians still play the Cherokee game of ball a sport far too strenuous for members of the Caucasian race. There are many experts in archery and blow gun. In 1838 an attempt was made to round up the Cherokees and remove them to Oklahoma. A considerable band escaped to the fastnesses of the Great Smoky Mountains and could not be found. The Cherokees on the Qualla Reservation are descendants of those who hid in the mountains.
There are 600 miles of ideal trout streams in the park. Easily accessible waters have been fished so much, with so little restocking, that good sport is not assured in them. The inaccessible waters provide good fishing, almost without exception. Persons desiring to fish must secure a fishing license as required by the laws of North Carolina and Tennessee. The nonresident license in North Carolina is $5.10, and in Tennessee, $2.50. Persons who fish in both the North Carolina and Tennessee sections of the park must secure a license in each State.
In order to restock the streams with trout certain of them have been closed to fishing. In the Tennessee section of the park Cosby Creek, Fish Camp Prong, East Fork of Little River above Fish Camp Prong and West Fork of Little River have been closed. In the North Carolina section of the park Twentymile Creek, Forney Creek, and Deep Creek have been closed. All closed streams are plainly marked by signs.
The park is a paradise for hikers. From Gatlinburg, Tennessee, the ascent of Mount LeConte is recommended. Two new horseback trails recently completed are the Cherokee Orchard Trail via Rainbow Falls to Mount LeConte and the Newfound Gap Trail via The Boulevard to Mount LeConte. These trails are full of charm for those who like to hike or ride horseback in the wilderness. Crude but comfortable accommodations are available at the top of Mount LeConte. From Greenbrier Cove, Tennessee, Mount Guyot can be reached. From Newfound Gap on the State line, Mount Kephart, altitude 6,150 feet, 3.4 miles, will offer a splendid view. The hike of seven miles west from Newfound Gap to Clingmans Dome is popular with hardy hikers.
From Bryson City, North Carolina, the hike to Deep Creek, Andrews Bald, and Clingmans Dome is recommended.
Numerous springs provide a supply of pure drinking water and ordinarily they are found near the mountain tops. Do not drink water from the streams.
ALTITUDE OF SOME OF THE HIGH POINTS IN THE PARK
Although hunting is not permitted in the park, former residents of the area were hunters by instinct, and have in the past greatly reduced the wildlife. Deer are practically exterminated. Some bears, wild cats, and smaller animals, and some ruffed grouse and wild turkeys remain. A comprehensive restocking program of animals and game birds once native to the region will be undertaken.
As yet no camp grounds for motorists have been prepared and available sites for camping are, at this time, few. Cabins for motorists will be found at all communities surrounding the park and on all approach roads.
The Mountain View Hotel, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, supplies saddle animals, pack outfits, guides, etc. This service may also be secured from Thomas W. Alexander, Great Smoky Mountains Camps and Tours, Asheville, North Carolina. Willie Myers, Cades Cove, Tennessee, supplies saddle horses and guides. Prospective customers should write to the above for rates and reservations.
The representative of the National Park Service in immediate charge of the park is J. R. Eakin, Superintendent, with temporary headquarters at Gatlinburg, Tennessee. An assistant chief ranger maintains a small office at Bryson City, North Carolina.
Last Updated: 30-Nov-2009