Engine Grapeyard Ridge Trail
January 31, 2024

Are you looking for unique spots and interesting sights in the Smoky Mountains? Well, you’re in luck! There are so many places to discover throughout the Smokies, including the Old Steam Engine — a fantastic hidden gem in the Smoky Mountains. If you want to learn more about the story behind this fascinating sight and find out how to visit it yourself, just read on to find out everything you need to know!

What is the Old Steam Engine?

The Old Steam Engine is exactly what it sounds like! Back in the 1920s, it was used to bring a lumber saw up and down the mountain, aiding in the construction of the Greenbrier School. However, an accident caused the Old Steam Engine to slide down the mountainside into Injun Creek, where it still sits today. In fact, the creek is even named after the Old Steam Engine, as “Injun” was a misspelling of the word “engine” by a mapmaker! This hidden gem in the Smoky Mountains is a great spot to visit when you come to the area.

Where is the Old Steam Engine located?

part of old steam engine

The Old Steam Engine is located along the Grapeyard Ridge Trail at Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This trail is located about 9 miles from downtown Gatlinburg, making it a relatively easy place to visit during your trip to the area. There is a small parking area located at the trailhead for your convenience. From here, in order to reach the Old Steam Engine, visitors must follow the Grapeyard Ridge Trail for 2.85 miles until reaching a hill. The Old Steam Engine is at the bottom of that hill, in the creek. In total, the round trip hike to the Old Steam Engine and back is approximately 5.8 miles.

What else should I know about the Grapeyard Ridge Trail?

The Grapeyard Ridge Trail features plenty of other interesting sights that you can check out when you come to see the Old Steam Engine. You will spend much of your time on the trail strolling along Rhododendron Creek and you will also pass several historic homesteads. The hike is considered moderately difficult, due to some elevation gains and some points where you must cross the river. For this reason, you may want to plan on doing this hike during a relatively dry time of year.

What other hidden gems in the Smoky Mountains can I visit?

A winding path leads to the top of the observation tower at Clingmans Dome.

If you are looking for more interesting spots to check out after visiting this hidden gem in the Smoky Mountains, you are in luck! There are plenty of unique sites that are located throughout the Smokies, offering plenty of opportunities for adventure. For instance, did you know that there is a secret tunnel under Clingmans Dome? It was built in the 1930s to allow hikers to bypass Clingmans Dome Road. You can find it just a short way from Clingmans Dome Road near the big stone bridge! Another great spot to check out is Blowhole Cave, located near Rainbow Falls. Although you cannot enter the cave, you can see the exterior of the cave!

Now that you know about the Old Steam Engine, you are ready to visit this hidden gem in the Smoky Mountains. And once you have discovered this hidden area, you can check out even more secret spots in the Smoky Mountains!