WATCH: The Stunning Re-Discovery of an Abandoned Mountain Town
Hiking through the Great Smoky Mountains can be quite the adventure. The National Park and UNESCO World Heritage site is more than 522,400 acres with over 850 miles of hiking trails and unpaved roads.
In May 2013, a hiker named Jordan Liles was exploring the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee and stumbled upon a completely abandoned town that he had never seen or heard of. Living in Tennessee for 26 years, Liles was so intrigued by this re-discovery, that he did further research and created a short film (shown below) documenting his exploration.
The film, Tennessee Wonderland, documents the abandoned neighborhood of Elkmont. According to Liles’ website, Elkmont was originally constructed more than 100 years ago. The town was centered around Wonderland Hotel, and often referred to as the Wonderland Club. It hosted many visitors traveling up the mountains and eventually became a private club before closing in 1992.
While many headlines have claimed a secrecy to Elkmont, and that Liles ‘discovered’ this town, that never really was missing, it is actually a very well known historic area, and even discussed on the NPS website. Though this may not be a new discovery, Liles documentation is quite vivid, and well worth the watch.