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When you’re hiking through the Smokies, you probably expect to see birds, trees, and waterfalls. You probably aren’t expecting to see man made objects along the trail, but you will see one when you hike on Middle Prong Trail! Here’s everything you need to know about the secret Cadillac along Middle Prong Trail.
Finding the Secret Cadillac
You won’t be able to see the Cadillac from the main trail, but finding it is half the fun! You’ll hike along Middle Prong Trail for about 1.9 miles. In the middle of the path, there is a small pile of rocks. Hikers have used these to mark where the Cadillac is off the trail. Look to the right and you’ll see a small footpath. You’ll follow this path for about 50 feet, and look behind fallen trees for a small clearing. The Cadillac is sitting right there! This is an old car, probably from the 1920s or 1930s. The car isn’t fully intact, but all of the pieces sit together so you can easily tell it’s an old car. There aren’t any wheels left, but it’s cool to see a piece of history preserved in the middle of the woods.
How the Cadillac Got There
You’re probably wondering why there is an old Cadillac in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park along a trail in the middle of the woods. Middle Prong Trail is located in Tremont, which used to be where logging took place. Little River Railroad and Lumber Company was located in Townsend in the 1900s, and they harvested most of the trees in the area, leaving it pretty bare for about 38 years. The trail actually follows along an old railroad path. There were several log camps in the area, so workers and families lived nearby. No one knows the history of this particular vehicle, but people assume it was from the Little River Railroad days.
More About Middle Prong Trail
If you’re going to try to find the secret Cadillac, you probably need to know a little more about the trail. Middle Prong Trail has an 8.3-mile roundtrip length, and it is considered moderate to strenuous.
To get to the trailhead from the Townsend “Y” intersection, drive west on Laurel Creek Road towards Cades Cove. About two-tenths of a mile from the intersection, turn left and drive 2 miles to the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. From the Institute, you’ll drive another 3.1 miles until you reach the far end of the road.
Many people say this trail is ideal if you want to see waterfalls because it’s not heavily traveled and they are beautiful. You’ll pass beside 3 waterfalls along the trail, plus several cascades and cataracts. You’ll pass over a footbridge at the beginning of the trail. If you’re in the area during the spring and summer, you might see wildflowers along this portion of the trail. You’ll then come up on Lower Lynn Camp Falls, and a little farther down is Lynn Camp Falls. Then, you’ll be in the area where the secret Cadillac is!
If you hike past this point, you will see other history markers. There is an old chimney from a home and remnants of the railroad. Around 4 miles from the trailhead, there is a small footpath that leads you to Indian Flats Falls.
You don’t want to miss out on finding the secret Cadillac along Middle Prong Trail. Hiking in the Smokies is a great way to get out in nature and enjoy the mountains. Find out more about the Great Smoky Mountains National Park here!