View Full Version : Injun Creek and/or Rhododendron Creek Campsites

08-20-2009, 09:46 AM
I was perusing my Garmin topo maps last night and spotted two campsites that are no longer listed on the official park trail map. They are off of a trail called Grapeyard Ridge Trail that starts very near Greenbriar, and a quick Google search revealed that there are ruins of old settlements there near James Gap. Here's a google link w/ some info:


It sounds really cool. Has anyone ever checked this area out or fished either Rhododendron or Injun Creek?

08-20-2009, 10:02 AM
Amber and i did a dayhike up to 32 and back in May. I don't remember seeing any old settlements, but if they were off trail, i surely would have missed them. i do remember seeing remnants of a train engine and several large steel wheels.

Rhodo creek is a very small stream, and if it ever held a decent # of fish, last years drought probably had some ill effects on them. I don't remember Injun creek being much different.

Codis Ed

08-20-2009, 02:56 PM
I took the family on the manway from the ranger station to the old steam engine. The Injun Creek manway is not an official park trail but it is in excellent shape. There are several old home sites along the way. The trail get a little rough before you get up to Site 32. I have never fished Injun Creek but it looks like good water, very small and tight in spots.

08-20-2009, 05:53 PM
up injun creek.......when ya see the little wall on the right go to the next hollow, go up and turn right to the second knoll (this is total bushwhack)...single grave...then return to trail, go to sign e.c. mccarter cemetery,,,turn right go down by rock walls thru a rhoddy thicket and up the hill to the cemetery...return and go to bc32....

Jim Casada
08-20-2009, 08:51 PM
Carlito--Injun Creek does hold trout (or at least did prior to the drought of 2007 and 2008). However, unless you are another Bobby Kilby and keeping a list of streams where you have caught trout (and no one will ever match his record, I suspect), it doesn't merit attention from a fishig perspective. Like scores of other little creeks in the Park--at least a couple hundred of them--it is home to trout but so tight and difficult few will likely want to explore it. However, if you belong to that tribe who likes being back of beyond, off trail, and fighting cobwebs which tell you no angler has preceded you for some time, that's another story. I must confess, to a certain degree, of being of that misanthropic persuasion. Jim Casada

08-21-2009, 08:26 AM
I'd really like to get up there and check it out sometime. Sam, you seem very familiar with the area. Do you have old family ties?

I got a long way to go to catch up with the likes of Bobby. I'm mostly just interested in the many places in the Park that are listed on the older maps but not currently advertised by the Park Service.

08-21-2009, 08:58 AM
I'd really like to get up there and check it out sometime. Sam, you seem very familiar with the area. Do you have old family ties?

I got a long way to go to catch up with the likes of Bobby. I'm mostly just interested in the many places in the Park that are listed on the older maps but not currently advertised by the Park Service.
Funny but I thought there weren't many other people who were as interested in graveyards and home sites until I read some of the posts here.
I really envy people who live close enough to explore the Smokies alot.
For me,Land Between the Lakes,is a good area with lots of history to explore.
One question,who was Bobby Kilby?
Jim Casada seems to know a lot of angling history of the park...how about it Jim? are there some legendary figures of the past who are mostly unknown now.

Jim Casada
08-21-2009, 01:44 PM
Sam--I thought the Park was obligated to maintain clean trail access to all cemeteries. From what you describe, this isn't the case on Injun Creek. Do you know the precise responsibility of the Park? On the N. C. side of the Park where I grew up this has always been and remains an extremely contentious issue. I'm adamantly opposed to the Road to Nowhere, but I have deep sympathy with the folks with ancesters buried within the Park. I really think the Park has a moral and ethical obligation, no matter what the legalities of the situation, to keep access open.

Now that I think about it, I guess some of you will say "there he goes again, bringing up some controversial subject. About all I can say is that I'm deeply steeped in Park lore and history, not only from a fly-fishing aspect but from that of human and natural history in general. Also, I have Park roots (my Dad, who is still living at age 100, grew up on Juneywhank Branch, a tiny feeder of Deep Creek) and that adds to my concern about lack of trails to tombstones. Jim Casada

08-21-2009, 09:43 PM
Rebel, my folks are from eastern Kentucky and have made springtime trips up to your turf to fish for crappies for years. Land Between the Lakes is an are I'd like to have more time to explore.

08-27-2009, 08:30 PM
jim....i can't speak for the park on cemeteries and maintenance to them....but there are many with no way to get to them without having some clues/help

north carolina generally post better signs for the cemeteries...in catalooch the majors are well marked but not the jenkins or the negro (as listed on the park list) up on the asbury trail

heck the most accessible and least known is the slave cemetery at mingus mill....ya go to the back right corner of the parking lot, walk up the hill and there it is...plus walk about 1 1/2 miles out past mingus mill...and there's another

08-27-2009, 09:05 PM
Don't want to detour this thread too much, but is there a map or something out there that lists some of the historical sites in the Smokies? My wife just finished reading Last Train to Elkmont, and she keeps asking me where some of these places are. I know the general location since most are related to the streams nearby like Edens Garden and Goshen Prong, however I don't know of some of the specific homesites location. For example, she was asking me if the old William Walker homesite can be located or if there was anywhere she could go and see remnants of the railroad tracks. These are questions I cannot answer, but I am hoping that some of the park veterans on here like Sam or Jim can help me out.

I have tried for years to get her interested in hiking and camping in the Smokies, if I only knew that getting her this book would do the trick I would have done it years ago....

08-27-2009, 10:21 PM
The park bookstores carries or used to carry a book called Historic Hikes of the Smokies. My family loved this book so much that on family vacations I spend more time in the park hiking then we do in Gatlinburg or Pigon Forge, and this is fine with me. But it does cut into my fishing time. They also have a new book calle Waterfalls of the Smokies, this book is fun because we are trying to go to all the waterfalls in the book. Some are hidden Gems close to roads or a very short hike.