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“Great step back in time”

Little Greenbrier School
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed October 21, 2012

Totally worth the hike...I read the reviews, and talked to the rangers at Sugarlands, and decided not to risk the one lane gravel road (I suck at backing up, and the car is pretty new). I drove to Metcalf Bottoms Picnic Area and hiked in...the start to the trail is marked, but then you're on your own until you get to the school. This may be a short trail, but it's not that easy...the first part is a steep uphill gravel path, followed by a steep downhill dirt path covered with huge tree roots (although these make handy stairs when going back). I felt like I walked forever without seeing any markers, and was almost about to turn around when I saw the school...I guess not many people use the trail!

The schoolhouse was absolutely wonderful. It had lots of original things on display, like needlework samplers from little girls, schoolbooks, slates, dolls, etc. There was a volunteer dressed in period clothing, too, who answered questions. Sit at one of the desks and take it all in... There is a small cemetery across from the school, with most of the headstones replaced/additionally marked with modern plaques. Some of the graves probably had wooden markers that are long gone, and the stone markers are so worn you can't read them (if there was anything on them in the first place).

This is also the jumping-off point to get to the Walker Sisters' Cabin, which can only be reached on foot. The trail starts just above the parking lot for the schoolhouse.

2  Thank Melissa M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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50 - 54 of 57 reviews

Reviewed July 25, 2012

We drove up to the school on the very narrow roadway and just prayed that no one was coming the other way, otherwise you have to drive back down...backwards!! Luckily we made it up without stopping. The school is very interesting with desks and a blackboard still in place. There's a little cemetery across from it with many members of the Walker family buried there.

2  Thank agaietto
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 12, 2012

I drove up the narrow road with a threatening thunderstorm in tow. I had four teenagers with me who were creeped out about getting stuck in the old school house during the storm. It was very humbling to see and to know that people lived so simply. Because of the storm we didn't hike back to the other cabins. Next time we will. This is a simple place to visit with an old grave yard next to it but a must see for anyone who is interested in history.

1  Thank bethwalden3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 3, 2012

We made a stop at the Little Greenbrier School on our recent trip to the Smokies. Since my kids and husband balked at hiking to it, we drove the road up to it. It's maybe a mile, gravel and winding, fairly narrow. Although the sign says if you meet someone be prepared to back all the way up or down so they can pass, my husband said there were places along the road where two vehicles could pass. We didn't meet anyone coming up or down so didn't need to try out his theory:-). Truthfully, I thought it a much less harrowing drive than Cataloochee. Obviously you probably wouldn't want to take an RV on it. In addition to driving it, you can also hike the road in (there is parking at the start of the road, about three spots) or hike it from Metcalf Bottoms picnic area (looked to be a really easy hike).

The school is rustic. It's amazing to imagine kids attending school here years ago. We were the only ones visiting Little Greenbrier, so it was neat to walk around in the silence and think about days gone by. The cemetery near the school is worth a look too. Lots of old markers, some are just stones sticking out of the ground. Behind the school is a little creek area with a small walking bridge across it (this is the trail to Metcalf Bottoms picnic area). Such a beautiful setting for the school. Bring your camera!

You can also hike to the Walker sisters cabin from here. I really wanted to, but the rest of the family did not and I was too chicken to do it by myself (bears).

1  Thank kren250
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2012

Be sure to read up on the Walker Sisters before going. If you do, it will be well-worth your time and effort. You can either drive to it or walk from the park at Metcalf Bottoms. We have done both; historically it become alive more if you do the walk. And be sure to see the Walker Sisters' home while you are exploring. Great story there............

3  Thank Charlene A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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