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.
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