house of the fairies
July 2, 2021

Sometimes it can be hard to remember that people lived in the Smokies before it officially became the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. However, there are still some structures in the mountains that remind us of this history, including those from the Voorheis Estate. If you love finding hidden gems in the Smokies, then you’ll love paying a visit to the House of the Fairies! Here’s everything you need to know about the House of the Fairies in the Smoky Mountains:

The History

noah ogle cabin

The House of the Fairies was originally part of the Voorheis Estate, a mountain retreat built by Louis E. Voorheis. Voorheis began developing the land in 1928, wanting to create a space where people could come to get away from the crowds. The land is one mile away from Gatlinburg, off of Cherokee Orchard Road. The area was originally called Twin Creeks Orchard because of the two creeks that run from East to West on the property. Voorheis got his mountain retreat for a few years, but eventually dedicated the property to the National Park Service in 1933. The National Park Service took complete management in 1952, but some structures from the Voorheis Estate still remain.

How to Get to the House of the Fairies

To get to the House of the Fairies, you’ll need to hike the Twin Creeks Trail. This out-and-back trail has a round trip length of 4.5 miles. Along the trail, you’ll walk along the creek and see several buildings from the old Voorheis Estate. Once you reach the Resource Center, look for a small path jutting off of the trail. Follow this path and you’ll see the House of the Fairies! If you’re having trouble finding it, feel free to ask for help at the Resource Center.

What You’ll Find

House of the Fairies in the Smoky Mountains

The first thing you’ll see when you approach the House of the Fairies is a stone staircase leading up to an arch wall. The arch wall has an open door so you can walk inside and check it out! The House of the Fairies was originally a springhouse, a one room building built on top of a spring to keep the water cool and clean from falling debris. Voorheis channeled rustic architecture and landscaping when he developed this area and you can see that in the House of the Fairies. The entire building is made of stone and the outside is covered in moss.

Other Hidden Places in the Smoky Mountains

1. Secret Tunnel Under Clingmans Dome

Below Clingmans Dome, the highest point in the Smoky Mountains, is the Thomas Divide Tunnel. Built in the 1930s, this tunnel is made entirely of locally sourced stone and is a hidden gem in the Smoky Mountains!

2. Mt. Cammerer Fire Tower

mt cammerer fire tower

The Mt. Cammerer Fire Tower is an old observation building built in the late 1930s. The round trip hike is 11.9 miles, but the 360 degree views from the tower are completely worth it!

3. Elkmont Troll Bridge

Elkmont used to be a pioneer town, but now it’s an abandoned area. The Elkmont Troll Bridge spans a small creek just 100 feet off of the Little River Trail. Although it’s close to an area frequented by tourists, few know about this hidden bridge.

There are tons of popular spots in the Smoky Mountains but finding a hidden gem is much more special. Learn about more hidden places in the Smokies and check them out on your next visit!