Archeological evidence recovered from sites in Elkmont date human use of the area to at least the Middle Archaic Period—8,000 to 5,000 years before the present time. Euro-American settlement of the Elkmont area began in the 19th century when the Ownby and Trentham families farmed land along Jakes Creek.
Large scale logging in the early 20th century had a huge impact on the Elkmont area, bringing a railroad line, logging community, and ultimately development of the resort communities of the Appalachian Club and Wonderland Hotel.
Today, eighteen of the cabins associated with the Appalachian Club are being preserved by the National Park Service. The Appalachian Clubhouse and Spence Cabin were rehabilitated in 2010 for day use by reservation.
Visitors can explore the Elkmont area on foot. Hike the Jakes Creek and Little River trails past the stone walls and chimneys that mark the former locations of the other resort cabins that once stood in Elkmont.