The Arts and Crafts Trail

After the trip up the Space Needle and the Moonshine tasting I was ready to call it a day. I wasn’t sure where the trolley stop was on main street so I found myself walking back down the hill.

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Back at the Aquarium I decided to take one more ride before I went home. I settled on the yellow line which takes you around to the various artist studios and craft shops. Gatlinburg is very “big” on crafts.


Gatlinburg’s craft  community is the largest group of independent artisans in  North America. This historic 8-mile loop has been designated a Tennessee Heritage Arts & Crafts Trail. Established in 1937, these artisans whittle, paint, sew, cast, weave and carve to create original collectibles such as candles, baskets, quilts, brooms, pottery,
jewelry, dolls, ceramics, scrimshaw, silver smithing, leather, stained glass, wearable fashions, fine photography, frameable art, oils, watercolors, and also lodging, restaurants, cafés, tea room, soda fountain and candy shops.


Although the loop is only 8 miles it takes an hour to complete the loop on the trolley because there are so many stops.


While riding along on this one we passed a covered bridge and farther along a beaver lodge. The driver insisted the lodge was occupied but the water was awful low and the lodge was in pretty poor repair. He admitted he hadn’t seen any beavers lately so my bet is on it being abandoned. It was still an interesting bit of scenery.


Pulling back into the stop at the Aquarium the driver mentioned a herd of elk that he’s seen recently. I had to find out more. He said I’d find them in the Cataloochee. Almost as soon as he told me he backed off telling me it was too far to be bothered with and that I’d get lost and on and on. He really tried to discourage me which of course had the opposite effect.

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I’ve chased elk herds all over from Custer State Park in South Dakota to the lake country north of Sedona in Arizona and have ever seen a one. Maybe my luck is about to change!

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